Republic Day this year ad two parades in Delhi that the citizens and netizens were equally invested in. While the common sentiment at the beginning of the day was that of peace, things took a downhill turn in the afternoon. Here’s a look…
In the morning
Right from Amitabh Bachchan to Taapsee Pannu, celebs congratulated fans on social media stressing on being a good citizen. Big B tweeted, “T 3794 — 26th January .. Republic Day. Happiness peace prosperity and .. be safe .. be protected.”
Afternoon — ugly turn
However, the peaceful protest of the farmers turned violent on Republic Day when their tractor rally entered Delhi and they even hoisted a saffron flag at the Red Fort. Pictures and videos of protesting farmers and their clash with police went viral. Many celebrities reacted to the situation on their respective Twitter handles. Sunny Deol clarified that neither his family members nor he had any link with actor Deep Sidhu, who was amongst the protesters at Red Fort. He tweeted in Hindi which translates into, “Today, I am very sad to see what happened at the Red Fort; I have already made it clear on Twitter, on 6 December, that my family has no connection with Deep Sidhu. Jai Hind.”
Deep Sidhu, whose role came under scanner, however, took to Facebook Live twice, while defending his act.
Celebs reacted on social media. Actor Ranvir Shorey wrote, “I would rather sit comfortably in my AC room then go around rioting and vandalising the capital on Republic Day…” Later he posted, “Get a taste of left-lib hypocrisy: The violence and rioting on Republic Day by the #FarmersProtests was only by extremists; don’t blame the whole movement, but if any right-wing fringe group riots or lynches, BJP-RSS are to blame.”
Gul Panag, who has stood for the farmers, tweeted, “I urge the authorities to arrest and charge those who committed acts of violence yesterday. We have the technological capability to identify the miscreants. Why haven’t there been any arrests yet?”
Actor Payal Ghosh posted, “Who are they… farmers? Look at the date they chose to create chaos, as they know the whole world is watching us… so their whole motive is to downgrade India and to defame the country…”
Meanwhile, Richa Chadha shared a picture of Sikh Regiment hoisting a Nishan Sahib at Galwan Valley. Taapsee Pannu tweeted along with a screenshot of a news channel, “These two news items back to back on my timeline explain so much about the state of affairs in our country.” Music Director Vishal Dadlani also reacted and wrote, “Does it make sense to you? Farmers who protested peacefully for so many months… suddenly turned violent today? Why? Just doesn’t compute. Plus, we’ve seen those in power do this before. Typical play: send violent stooges, discredit movement.”
Meanwhile, actress Celina Jaitly tweeted, “They brought shame to our great nation on our 72nd #RepublicDay. They ruined our tricolour’s proud moment to celebrate the glory of the world’s largest democratic Constitution & the bravehearts of our nation. #RepublicDay2021.
Pollywood plays safe
Mainstream Pollywood stars — Diljit Dosanjh, Ammy Virk, Gippy Grewal — who have shown solidarity with the farmers, refrained from commenting (till the filing of this report). Gippy Grewal had tweeted a video of the tractors on the road, and later WaheGuru WaheGuru with a picture of Guru Nanak Dev ji. Diljit had posted Baba Sukh Rakhe with folded hands on the Republic Day morning. Ammy retweeted a clarification about the Nishan Sahib flag. Singer Harbhajan Mann posted a video while captioning it: ‘Lehar Kisani Di Feeling… honoured to witness this historic peaceful farmers’ tractor rally.’
While others defended the tractor march; Harf Cheema, lyricist and singer, says, “Focus on one or two bad elements in the protest does not do justice to farmers…” Singer Kanwar Grewal blamed the government in his tweet, “Delhi police resorted to violence first, farmers only responded in defence under Section 96 of IPC.”
Buta Singh of 21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897-fame, Balraj Singh Khehra says, “Both the government and the farmers have to reach a middle ground for the interest of our nation. As any other citizen, I would talk about peace and want that there should not be any act of violence be it in my neighbourhood, village, city or nation.” — TNS