A campaign to boycott Anubhav Sinha’s directorial ‘Thappad’ has been doing the rounds on social media, even as the movie released today, 28th February. #BoycottThappad has been trending on twitter, over the lead actress Tapsee Pannu’s statements on CAA. Trolls have been demanding for the movie to be banned, citing Tapsee’s involvement in the anti-CAA protests.
Pannu had joined a peaceful anti-CAA protest at Carter Road in Mumbai, leading to her being trolled on social media. The protest was a means of expressing solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who were allegedly attacked by a masked and armed mob in January.
Expressing her views on the boycott of her latest film, Tapsee told the Times of India, “I think personal opinions of actors should not affect their profession and I don’t really think it does to an extent. It takes about 1000-2000 tweets to trend a certain hashtag. Does that really affect a film? I don’t think so. I might have different social and political views from a lot of people but that does not mean that people will not go and watch the film. An actor is never bigger than a film. A film has hundreds of people involved in it. It is stupid to decide whether or not you will watch a movie based on an actor’s socio-political views.”
Celebrities are often questioned over their silence on national issues and ridiculed when they put forth their opinions. It is not the first time an actress has been termed as ‘anti-national’ by online trolls over their participation in political discourse or protest marches. Deepika Padukone’s last venture Chappak, which was based on the true story of an acid attack victim had earlier in the year been boycotted by many, citing her presence at a JNU solidarity meet as the reason.
Thappad documents the story of a character named Amrita, who files for divorce from her husband after he slaps her at a party. It chronicles the isolation and ridicule she faces for taking this stand. The film talks about gender sensitivity and patriarchy, and promises to be a strong drama, just like the several others Taapsee has previously acted in. Even as actresses like Deepika and Taapsee are trying to bring gender-sensitive issues into the national discourse, highlighting the fight and plight of modern women in India, Twitter trolls continue to give unrelated issues of nationality higher importance.