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Newcomer Geetika Vidya Ohlyan’s bold stand against the CAA and NRC was appreciated by the many. It is her badassery that is making us appreciate her!
It is hard to ignore when the world’s largest democracy is witnessing a huge wave of people-led mass protests.
The protests surrounding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) have rocked the nation. What is interesting to note here is that these protests are not led by any political leader or an organisation. People took to the streets themselves and voiced their opinions. It was an ember which finally took shape and is burning brightly now.
Many celebrities voiced their opinions for or against this Act. Various protests were also led and organised despite the imposition of Section 144 (unlawful assembly of more than four people at one time) of the Indian Constitution and internet blackouts in some places.
The violence by the police on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia who were protesting against the Bill acted as a tipping point for everyone. And the impact led many to voice their opinion. It drove home the conviction for many the country was descending towards an authoritarian regime that does not brook dissent.
Konkona Sen Sharrma tweeted, “We are with the students! Shame on you @ DelhiPolice” to voice her opinion on the atrocities committed by the police. Tapsee Pannu shared a video from the protests in Delhi and commented “the video breaks heart n hopes altogether.” Dia Mirza also took to Twitter to state her stand and wrote “What is happening in our country should make us all hang our heads in shame. Shame. Now is the time to come together and act as one nation, one people, one country. NOW.”
Among the most outspoken comments by celebrities, on the CAA-NRC issue has been taken by Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, an actor who acted in Soni (2018). She was a panelist News18’s ‘The Newcomers Roundtable’ where she voiced her dissent openly in a brave and gracious manner.
Geetika had a ‘hakenckreuz’ (the Nazi symbol which looks like an inverted Swastika) drawn on her hand along with crosses drawn on her arms. On her palms were written “CAA? Jamia? 1974?” and even “Unnao.” This was a courageous act on her part considering how many of her counterparts kept quiet on these issues. Apart from the ongoing protests in the countries, she raised her concerns even for the 1984 riots and the recent Unnao case the verdict of which was passed recently.
Viewers at large are highly influenced by the opinions which celebrities share and voice. She has done only two films till date but her courage is commendable.
Strong and highly opinionated women shape the political discourse in a country. They act as role models for other women to express their opinion without having the fear of facing scathing remarks. Having an opinion is important. Not having an opinion is also an opinion. It shows how one is silently on the side of the oppressor or the one who enjoys the higher stakes.
“…I hope we don’t get disappointed more, and times improve and I hope we are kinder towards each other,” said Ohlyan in the roundtable interview in one of the questions directed towards her. In times like these, we hope and pray for the same too.
For those who haven’t watched the video:
Picture credits: Rajeev Masand’s roundtable.
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