Leapfrogging from the entertainment section to the front pages of newspapers for showing up at JNU, Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was on Wednesday the cynosure of national attention earning bouquets but also many brickbats on social media and elsewhere.
On Tuesday evening, Deepika made a surprise visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University to express solidarity with the students who had been attacked on January 5.
Her decision to stand in silence with JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, who received head injuries during the attack on Sunday evening, at a public meeting in the campus prompted many in the industry and outside to praise her for her "quiet grace" and "courage". It also prompted hashtags to boycott her Friday release "Chhapaak", a film based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
#BoycottChapak was one of the top trends on twitter in India, with close to 461,000 tweets by the hashtag at the time of publishing of this story.
In one of the tweet by Mohammed Zubair, many Twitter users can be seen sharing screenshots of booking and cancelling the exact same ticket for Chhapaak. Several troll accounts tweeted that they have cancelled their tickets for Chhapaak and will instead watch Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior. Both the movies are due to release on Friday, January 10.
Curiously, Twitter accounts tweeting about cancelling and booking tickets shared the same tickets with bookings of the same seat.
Though several people in Bollywood have voiced their protest against the attack on students and faculty by a masked mob, Deepika is the rare Bollywood A-lister to do so.
Many social media users called for the boycott of the social drama, asking people to watch Ajay Devgn's "Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior" that is releasing along with "Chhapaak" on Friday.