Several Bollywood celebrities have reacted to Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement that the Narendra Modi government intends to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Actors such as Kangana Ranaut, Dia Mirza, Pooja Bedi, Zaira Wasim, Anupam Kher, Raveena Tandon, Sanjay Suri, director Onir, writer Chetan Bhagat and others have taken to Twitter to share their opinions about the developing story.
Kangana in a message shared by her team on Instagram, wrote, “Scrapping of Article 370 was long due, it is a historic step in the direction of a terrorism-free nation. I have been emphasising on this for the longest time, and I knew if any one could achieve this impossible feat that is Mr. Modi. He is not only a visionary, but he also has the required courage and strength of character to make unthinkable a reality… I congratulate the entire Bharat including JnK on this historic day, we are together looking at a very bright future.”
Pooja Bedi wrote, “If we wish 2 C a terror free #Kashmir ,a bustling thriving Kashmir we can buy&invest in, that no longer financially drains the rest of th country, this is clearly a step in that direction. 54% of j&k revenue came from Central Grant’s according to this report. #KashmirIntegrated.”
Kunal Kohli wrote, “The argument that the scrapping of #Article370 #Article35A is unconstitutional doesn’t hold.If at a time it was fair to apply it,It’s fair to remove it when it isn’t working. It was never meant to be permanent. Can’t get diff results doing the same thing.”
Actor Anupam Kher wrote a few hours ago, “The Kashmir solution has begun,” while Sanjay Suri, who recently played an authoritarian political leader in Netflix’s dystopian series Leila and also hails from J&K, wrote, “Stay safe one and all in #JammuKashmir.”
“What the hell us happening ??? May Allah keep every one safe! In Kashmir,” wrote actor Guauhar Khan.
Director Onir expressed his concerns and wrote, “Anxiously waiting to know what’s happening in #Kashmir. Can’t imagine an entire state being put under this uncertainty. We cannot have another era of violence . Just hoping and praying … this night of distress is over and clarity and peace would surface.” He added the hashtag, “Stand with Kashmir.”
“My thoughts are with #Kashmir. Praying for peace. #KashmirNeedsAttention,” wrote Dia Mirza. Meanwhile, Chetan Bhagat wrote in a series of tweets, “Article 370 never gave Kashmiris freedom. It only created selfish leaders who created a terror filled society and robbed Kashmiri youth of opportunity. It is finally time for it to go. Anyone objects, tell them loudly: One Country, One System.” He continued, “Anyone using the removal of #Article370 as an excuse to disturb peace and instigate violence is an enemy of the state. Let the country be run peacefully. Do not do anything you will regret.”
“This too shall pass,” wrote Zaira, who hails from J&K, and recently announced her retirement from the film industry. Her tweet came a few hours before the announcement. Raveena, who had criticised her decision to quit, and had labelled her as ‘ungrateful’, reacted to the news by posting dozens of Indian flags on Twitter.
Photographer Atul Kasbekar wrote, “Time to unconditionally back the govt on this decision imo. A huge call has been taken n it needs everyone’s support now. I hope we also extend much love n every kind of support to the people of Kashmir so that they feel more n more connected over time. One India. Jai Hind.”
The move, as well as the possibility of J&K being bifurcated into two Union Territories, has been met with criticism by the opposition, and several Kashmiri leaders such as Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have been put under house arrest. Tensions arose in J&K after a security incident.
Social media seems to be divided, with hashtags such as ‘Kashmir bleeds’ as well as ‘Kashmir hamara hai’ both trending nationwide.