Deepika Padukone's visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday has drawn criticism from many leaders of the ruling BJP, though Union Minister Prakash Javadekar asserted yesterday that "anyone can go anywhere to express their opinion, there cannot be any objection". Maharashtra BJP leader Ashish Shelar took a swipe at the actor by referencing her character from the blockbuster "Bajirao Mastani". Deepika Padukone should "not try to act like warrior Mastani as she does not have a real-life director behind her", he jeered on Wednesday.
Deepika Padukone, in Delhi on Monday for the promotions of her new film "Chhapaak", visited JNU to express solidarity with students attacked by a masked mob on Sunday. Her silent participation in a protest has been praised as well as criticized.
Calling the gesture "insensitive and inappropriate," Ashish Shelar, a former state minister, said in Mumbai that it was "easy" to play a warrior like Mastani with a director like Sanjay Leela Bhansali behind you.
"But in real-life when she does not have a director behind her, (then) she should not try to portray herself as a warrior or Mastani because it is now clear that she is unable to live that kind of life in reality," Mr Shelar said.
"The incident is being probed by the police. So, meeting just one side of the people is inappropriate, obviously she is in trouble. We condemn and reject her step. We find it (her act) insensitive," said the BJP leader.
Several other BJP leaders have openly criticized the actor and one party man, Tajinder Bagga, even supported the call to boycott "Chhapaak", which hits the theatres on Friday.
The attacks from these BJP leaders was questioned like why the ruling party is taking sides on the shocking attack on Sunday evening in which a masked mob entered the JNU campus and beat students and teachers with iron rods and sledgehammers.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, asked to react to his party leaders' comments, said: "Why only artistes, any common man can go anywhere to express his opinion, there cannot be any objection."