- A day after #BlackOutTuesday, the actor shared a page with three hashtags
- "#migrantlivesmatter, #minoritylivesmatter, #poorlivesmatter," he wrote
- "In the larger picture, there is no 'us' and 'them'," read Abhay's post
Actor Abhay Deol is being hailed as a hero on Twitter after an Instagram post in which he called out "woke Indian celebrities" for speaking out against racism in USA but failing to raise their voices against injustice and oppression at home. Tuesday was, quite literally, a black day for social media, where many shared black screens in solidarity with the race-related protests ripping through USA currently. Black screens were also posted by many Indian users and while there is no argument against joining the chorus of protests against police brutality anywhere, Abhay Deol's criticism of celebrities - he also includes the Indian middle class - is based on their reluctance to comment on issues at home.
On Wednesday, a day after #BlackOutTuesday, Abhay Deol shared a page written with the hashtags #migrantlivesmatter, #minoritylivesmatter, #poorlivesmatter; in the caption he urged celebrities and the middle class taking a stand against racism in USA to "see how it manifests in their own backyard" and to "call out systemic problems in your own country."
Maybe it's time for these now? Now that "woke" indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they'd see how it manifests in their own backyard? America has exported violence to the world, they have made it a more dangerous place, it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically. I'm not saying they deserve it, I'm saying look at the picture in it's totality. I'm saying support them by calling out the systemic problems in your own country, because they turn out to be one and the same thing. I'm saying follow their lead but not their actions. Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country. That is what the black lives matter movement is all about! In the larger picture, there is no "us" and "them". There is not a country that's real. But a planet in peril. #migrantlivesmatter #minoritylivesmatter #poorlivesmatter Black Lives Matter (find out why not to use the hashtag and still support the movement).
Twitter is thrilled - there are many tweets in the vein of these:
ABHAY DEOL GETS IT. https://t.co/OlSm8eJRDM— No (@Bluemagicboxes) June 3, 2020
Never had greater respect for Abhay Deol...well done! pic.twitter.com/bLe83qEjph— Hemant (@hemantbuch) June 3, 2020
Abhay Deol is the only Bollywood personality that deserves rights— Bhumik (@bhumika_4) June 3, 2020
Anger in USA boiled over after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was captured on film struggling to breathe as a police officer knelt on his neck. Several Indian celebrities have joined the storm of outrage on social media - Bollywood stars are often criticised for not raising their voices on local issues. They are, however, also criticised in equal measure when they do take a stand. Just months ago, Deepika Padukone was viciously attacked online for showing up at Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU, to attend a protest by students after a violent mob invaded the campus.
One star, at least, is not guilty of silence as the coronavirus lockdown swiftly turned into a humanitarian crisis for India - actor Sonu Sood has been actively helping stranded migrant workers go home to their villages, even chartering a flight from Kerala to Odisha recently.
Abhay Deol is no stranger to speaking his mind, nor is this the first time he has turned on his colleagues. A couple of years ago, he shared a series of posts on Facebook about stars promoting fairness products.