MUMBAI: Celebrities like Richa Chadha, Mini Mathur and Jwala Gutta spoke up on the right to opinion and freedom of expression following the social media wrath faced by actress Swara Bhasker on sharing her thoughts on "Padmaavat".
Swara, in an open letter, had critiqued Sanjay Leela Bhansali's epic drama for glorifying a practice like Jauhar. This and the comment that the movie left her feeling reduced to a "vagina only", led to a barrage of vile and nasty comments to her.
Well-known names like Suchitra Krishnamoothi and Vivek Agnihotri were among those who accused her of "fake feminism". But some names from the industry spoke out in her support.
Here's what they wrote:
Mini Mathur: It's appalling how everyone has swooped down so cruelly on Swara! Come on guys whichever side of the debate you're on, you cannot abuse her for expressing what she feels! She is a brave, independent voice. Respect that. Not many of her ilk left around here.
Richa Chadha: Just like Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir had a right to make a film and have it release, and we defended that right irrespective, Swara has a right to her opinion. You can't coerce, abuse, slut-shame a person over their. You can disagree, don't disparage.
Shruti Seth: You have every right to disagree with someone's point of view, just remember to keep it civil. It's not surprising to see the wrath Swara is being doled out for expressing her views. But one can hope the discourse will change. Stay brave Swara.
Sayani Gupta: Cannot believe a woman is being threatened having an opinion on a film!Shame on us and our brittle fluffed egos. Swara keep that voice strong.
Jwala Gutta: I just don't understand what has happened to our society where we are not able to respect any opinion. Where are we headed? Why are we not able to have a healthy debate? A healthy conversation? Why have we forgotten our humanness? Why can't Swara have an opinion and why can't we respect it?
Raghu Ram: Next time you feel disheartened by people trolling you, remember, an army of trolls could not even dampen Swara's spirit. They are powerless. Not even an irritation. Laughable.