Sunday’s violence on the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus drew a storm of responses on social media, with members of the Indian cabinet and Bollywood celebs expressing their views and condemnations on social media.
Many in the film industry called Sunday’s events “Horrifying”, “heartbreaking” and “barbaric”, including actors-filmmakers Anil Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Rajkummar Rao, Twinkle Khanna, Anurag Kashyap and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
Actors Swara Bhasker, Shabana Azmi, Richa Chadha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub and Taapsee Pannu, writer Gaurav Solanki and filmmakers Aparna Sen, Vishal Bhardwaj, and Anubhav Sinha were among the first to condemn the violence in JNU.
“It has to be condemned. It was quite sad, shocking, what I saw. It was very disturbing. I couldn’t sleep the entire night, thinking what has happened. It has to be condemned. Nothing will come out of violence. Whoever did this, they should be published absolutely,” Anil Kapoor told reporters at the trailer launch of “Malang” in Mumbai.
“We must look truth in the eye and acknowledge that we are a house at war with itself. We, the people, of this country no matter how diff our ideologies, must find a human solution to all of our complex problems, and reinforce the peaceful and inclusive ideals upon which this country was built,” Alia Bhatt posted on Instagram Stories.
Kashyap, who has been posting videos of what went inside the JNU campus, wrote, “Hindutva terrorism is now totally out there. #JNUSU.”
Swara, whose mother Ira Bhaskar is a professor at the JNU, took to Twitter on Sunday night to appeal to the people on social media to reach the campus “to pressure the government and Delhi Police” to control the violence.
She later tweeted, “My mom is safe. JNU is peaceful for now & the gates are open! Eternal gratitude to the citizen protestors of Delhi who showed up at JNU main gate earlier tonight- you saved JNU! Thanks to the media and reporters who risked their own safety & showed us what terror was unleashed today.”
On Sunday evening, Indian External Affairs Minister and JNU alumnus S Jaishankar had tweeted that he condemned the “violence unequivocally”. “This is completely against the tradition and culture of the university,” he stated. These words were also echoed by another JNU alum in the cabinet, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Indian Union Environment and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar came down heavily on a British daily on Monday for referring to the masked mob that attacked JNU students and teachers as “nationalists” and asked it to stop predicting India’s disintegration at every opportunity.
The newspaper headline was titled: ‘Nationalist mob goes on rampage at secular university in Delhi’.
Violence broke out at the JNU on Sunday night as masked men armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in the police.
At least 28 people, including JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.