NEW DELHI: Amid calls, including at least one from a BJP functionary, to boycott Bollywood star Deepika Padukone's upcoming movie "Chhapaak" for her visit to JNU, information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday that not just artistes, even a common man can go anywhere to express their opinion and there should be no objections to anyone expressing his opinion.
Nobody objected to such expression of opinions, Javadekar told reporters when asked during a Cabinet briefing here on Padukone's visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday to express solidarity with the students who were attacked by a mob.
"This country is a democracy. Why only artistes, even a common man can go anywhere and express his opinion," the minister said.
About the call given by some party functionaries to boycott her upcoming movie, the minister said, he had not read their remarks but sought to underscore the significance of his statement, saying he is stating so as a minister and a "permanent" BJP spokesperson.
The minister's statement came in the backdrop of attacks on the actor by BJP functionary Tejinder Singh Bagga who called for the boycott of her soon-to-be launched film " Chhapak" for siding with the leader of " tukde tukde gang", an allusion to the presence by her side of of CPI functionary Kanhaiya Kumar along with Umar Khalid and others accused of raising slogans seeking country's dismemberment.
While Bagga emphasised that Padukone's presence at JNU on Sunday at a gathering of leftist students was a partisan act, pro- Hindutva tweeter handles circulated footage of her Doordarshan interview of 2011 where she had endorsed Rahul Gandhi as PM. The saffronite handles also circulated a tweet purportedly posted by Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor using his personal handle: " [email protected] Deepika Padukone for standing both wRead More – Source