Last year, Bollywood was all tweets, all white-capped and all out to support Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign. And now, next to nothing. Whether they cite unclear goals or the new political twists in the movement, celebs who to swore to stand by the 73-year-old social activist are nowhere on the cause now.
Those who extended lip service and more during Hazare’s hunger strike last year included Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Vidya Balan, Neha Dhupia, Celina Jaitly, Bipasha Basu, Hrithik Roshan, Shyam Benegal, Farah Khan, Om Puri and Madhur Bhandarkar, through their blogs, tweets, press statements or presence at protest sites.
This time, however, only a handful seem to be interested. There have been tweets only from actors Soha Ali Khan, Ranvir Shorey, Raveena Tandon and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, as Anna observes another indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar to exert pressure on the government to enact a strong Lokpal Bill. “A cause is often embraced by celebs like fashion. It was fashionable to support Anna last year. But this year, there has been a media fatigue,” says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. Social commentator Prahlad Kakkar agrees that celeb support is not always from within. “Last year, a lot of stars got publicity through Anna rather than the other way round.” Actor Anupam Kher, who continues to lend support, says, “It is not necessary for all supporters to come out again and again. They have already pledged their support.”
Action from Jantar Mantar
Last year’s lip service
In May 2011, Shah Rukh Khan had said, “Now that the movement is on the streets we should ensure that it does not die.” This year, he has stayed away from the campaign. Here’s what some other now-absent A-listers had said for Anna last year ...
No one wants corruption in society and governance. The law of the land must prevail! Amitabh Bachchan
It’s incredible to see the support he has from across the country... I pledge my support. Priyanka Chopra
I hope you get greater support than india did for the cricket world cup. Aamir Khan to Anna at Ramlila Maidan in May 2011