When Bollywood stars paid price for govt protests

As Deepika's 'Chhapaak' takes a hit, here's a list of Bollywood stars targeted for dissent against the govt

Youth BJP activists protest against Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and her film 'Chhapaak', in Patna, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone seems to be paying for visiting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to express solidarity with the students who were attacked by a mob on Jan. 5. The IMDb rating for Deepika's movie Chhapaak took a hit after over 6,000 IMDb users downrated the film, giving it a one-star rating. 

Days after her JNU visit, the Ministry of Skill Development And Entrepreneurship allegedly junked a promotional video that had the actor speaking about acid attack survivors and Skill India. With this, Deepika has joined the list of Bollywood stars who had to pay the price for standing up against the government. Here's a list of similar instances:

Legendary actor and playback singer Kishore Kumar in 1976 denied the then Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister VC Shukla’s request to make and participate in advertisements promoting Sanjay Gandhi’s pet project -- the 20-point Economic Programme, which was launched just after the imposition of the Emergency. In response, Shukla directed public broadcasters like Doordarshan and All India Radio to ban all songs and films that featured him, according to multiple media reports.

Actor Manoj Kumar, who later emerged as one of the prominent voices of dissent against the Emergency, also denied a similar request by Shukla. Kumar soon faced the consequences of this decision. Just two weeks before his movie Shor was to be released in theatres, it was telecast on Doordarshan. When the film hit the box office, few bought tickets to watch the film again. 

The list of Bollywood stars who refused to comply with the government’s diktats includes names like Dev Anand and Shatrugan Sinha. Their movies were also banned on Doordarshan. Sinha was reportedly even threatened with implication in the Baroda Dynamite case if he didn’t campaign for the Congress in Bihar.

Other big names that did not shy away from voicing dissent against the government include Gulzar, Raaj Kumar, V Shantaram, Uttam Kumar, Satyajit Ray and Danny Denzongpa.

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