Last week, several celebs including Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Saina Nehwal tweeted their opinion about farmers’ stir with hashtags #Indiatogether and #Indiaagainstpropadanga. This was to counter US pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg and other international stars who backed the farmers. The latest is that Maharashtra Government will probe into allegations that Indian celebs were pressured to tweet on the ongoing farmers’ protest.
The netizens think this is an attack on freedom of speech. Like any of us, aren’t these celebs free to voice their opinions? Some Twitter users have questioned Maharashtra Government’s decision and say nobody had ever imagined that integrity and patriotism of legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar would be probed in India someday. Some went on to ask if the celeb status doesn’t allow them to speak their mind whereas some called the situation an oxymoron since Maharashtra Government is making this ‘politically influenced’ and intimidating move and yet accuses celebs of being influenced to write copied tweets under central government’s influence.
A Bollywood script
“To me it seems more of a communication faux pas. It’s fairly normal for government and private sector to solicit support and seek endorsement from celebrities and it’s up to each one whether to align with or decline it. This situation arose due to the laziness or inability of some of our celebs to rewrite content. To top it up, an investigation whether they were arm twisted? Makes a perfect plot for a Bollywood potboiler,” says producer Rahul Mittra. – TNS