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Deepika Padukone’s JNU Visit, Courageous Or Publicity Gimmick? Exclusive Reactions From Shabana Azmi, Dia Mirza, Vivek Agnihotri

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While  many in  the film fraternity  like Anurag Kashyap and Dia Mirza are openly praising  Deepika Padukone for her  visit to the lately-vandalized Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) in  Delhi, others are not so happy with what they see as  the visit being  timed with  her new release.

So , was  the visit heartfelt or meant to make a chhapaak(splash)on the eve of her release?

Filmmaker  Vivek Agnihotri  known to be  a diehard  supporter  of  the  Establishment  seems to think it’s  a publicity  gimmick.

Vivek lashes out, “Deepika is guilty of reducing such a sensitive and real issue of acid victims and women empowerment to dirty campus politics. By standing with a small section of anti-India students she has sent a message that she doesn’t support 98% hard working, middle class, non-elite students who work hard to build a #NewIndia.”

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Trade expert Amod Mehra agrees, “Time and again it’s a proven fact that actors don’t know anything about politics.So it’s best for them  to stay away from it.Not learnt from history Deepika ventured into the forbidden territory with the sole purpose of promoting her film, which is totally unethical and needs to be condemned.”

However  Deepika’s fellow-actors Shabana Azmi and Dia  Mirza  are all praise for what they see as her exemplary courage.

 Says Shabana, “She did it with quiet grace and I am very proud of her. When she was attacked over Padmaavat very few came forward to support her. She knows what it feels to be targeted and she has shown exemplary courage  to support the JNU students . More power to her.”

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Adds Dia Mirza, “So proud of her! And so so grateful. May you she continue to walk her truth.”

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta is all praise  for  Deepika.  “I thought she was brave at a time when doing the right thing is often seen as a sign of being anti-establishment or as some loosely say ‘anti-national’. Her  visit has earned my  respect.”