Actor Abhay Deol has slammed Indian celebrities who’ve voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but allegedly ignored highlighting similar injustices in India. In a message posted on Instagram, the actor wrote, “Migrant lives matter, poor lives matter, minority lives matter.”
Abhay shared a picture of these words, handwritten on a piece of paper. He captioned his post, “Maybe it’s time for these now? Now that ‘woke’ Indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard? America has exported violence to the world, they have made it a more dangerous place, it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically. I’m not saying they deserve it, I’m saying look at the picture in it’s totality.”
In recent days, Indian celebrities such as Karan Johar, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan and others have posted on social media about the mass protests that erupted in the United States following the killing of a black man at the hands of a white policeman. Several observers, including actor Kangana Ranaut and politician Omar Abdullah, have pointed out that the same celebrities who are posting about American problems rarely highlight similar issues happening in India.
Abhay continued, “I’m saying support them by calling out the systemic problems in your own country, because they turn out to be one and the same thing. I’m saying follow their lead but not their actions. Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country. That is what the #blacklivesmatter movement is all about! In the larger picture, there is no “us” and “them”. There is not a country that’s real. But a planet in peril. #migrantlivesmatter #minoritylivesmatter #poorlivesmatter #blacklivesmatter.”
The actor’s post has been ‘liked’ close to 40000 times. “So so true! Thank you for saying this. We need more influencers speaking up. It’s saddening that the privileged of this country are so vocal for George Floyd (not that they shouldn’t) but turn a blind eye to the migrants labourers, the Dalits and others facing discrimination in their own neighbourhood,” one person wrote in the comments section. “Thank you for not fearing to stand against all odds and voicing what is right. May people learn from you and kindness prevails,” wrote another.
On Tuesday, Kangana had said in an interview, “It is a shame they [Bollywood celebrities] continue to live in a bubble and never fail to jump on the bandwagon, which can give them two minutes of fame, but ‘white people’ must drive the bandwagon. Perhaps, it is because of their pre-independence colonial slavery genes.”