BJP’s Bollywood reach-out for clearing the air on the misconceptions surrounding CAA, the Citizenship Amendment Act, was less than successful. None of the bigger stars of Bollywood were in attendance at the event hosted by Piyush Goyal and Baijayant Panda in Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt hotel. This is in stark contrast with the Gandhi 150 event that saw the likes of Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan taking selfies with Modi.
According to NDTV, “Among those who showed up at the meeting were filmmakers Ritesh Sidhwani, Bhushan Kumar, Kunal Kohli, Ramesh Taurani, Rahul Rawail, Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi, singers Shaan and Kailash Kher, composer Anu Malik, and actors Ranvir Shorey and Urvashi Rautela. Mainstream Bollywood chose to stay away.”
Earlier Huffington Post reported that Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Kabir Khan, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ritesh Sidhwani, besides several others were invited. As was Richa Chadda who was seen in protests against the CAA. The website also reported that “the meeting, organised by film producer Mahavir Jain, is part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s attempt to blunt the widespread opposition to the act — both in India and abroad. Jain, widely seen as Modi’s man in Bollywood, was also behind Modi’s infamous “Bollywood Selfie”. The selfie was orchestrated just before the general elections last year, and was aggressively publicised by the BJP.”
Ranbir Shorey told The Indian Express, “We were mostly clearing the air around CAA. The fact how it’s not about taking the citizenship away but granting it to refugees from neighbouring Islamic countries. The government feels there is a lot of misinterpretation regarding the CAA, because of which there are protests still going on… CAA is something which I already support and stand behind. But it was pointed out to me that there could be some problems with CAA and NRC as a combination. That it could be troublesome for some Indians, especially minorities. I did bring that up and was given assurances. I was also told the Home Minister and Prime Minister themselves have given assurances that the NRC or any exercise will legally be conducted in a way where no Indian citizen will be affected.”
Far away from the violence at #JNU, #BJP’s #PiyushGoyal & #JayPanda are meeting handful of members from #Bollywood at a 5 star hotel in Mumbai discussing myths & realities pertaining to #CAA pic.twitter.com/dWBPqK7Hne
— Rohit Khilnani (@rohitkhilnani) January 5, 2020