Rockstar, Raanjhana, and now Shanghai — the teams of three major Bollywood films have come to the city’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) within a span of six months, giving the earlier promotional hotspot, Delhi University, a miss.
“JNU is the intellectual and political hub for debates. We wanted earnest and candid debates and we certainly got them from JNU students,” says Shanghai actor Kalki Koechlin, who visited the campus last week.
Raanjhana director Anand Rai, who got the film’s lead actor Sonam Kapoor to the JNU campus recently, says, “JNU is an attitude. When you go there, you come back with so much independence and insight.” Zoya Hasan, dean, School and Social Sciences at JNU, agrees. “Our students are evolved and well-informed. Any filmmaker will seek these qualities in his audience.”
The crew of Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Rockstar also resorted to promotions in JNU after a concert was called off in DU, a reason believed to have fuelled the shift. However, J M Khurana, dean, students welfare, DU, says, “The procedure to get the permission to shoot on campus is very easy. But, some events have been called off as they were too big and could pose a security threat.” Not all JNU students are happy, though. “We don’t really care about these promotions. It’s just free entertainment,” says Virendra Singh, a sociology studen.