They’re marching, signing petitions, starting campaigns, using the blogosphere and making their powerful voices heard. Bollywood stars joined millions all over the country this week in a show of solidarity.
As countless numbers lit candles and marched — from the Gateway of India to India Gate — celebs including Preity Zinta, Nagesh Kukunoor, Farhan Akhtar, Javed Akhtar, Pooja Bedi, Sonu Sood, Kim Sharma and Manyata Dutt donned T-shirts and protested.
Zinta said at the protest site, “People come here as guests, and this is how they are treated — with terror attacks... we will not be quiet.” While Sanjay Dutt gave an interview stating he was “very angry at our government and the entire political infrastructure”, his wife Manyata and restaurateur Fazrhan Azmi are leading a protest call ‘Don’t Vote 09’ that demands that the government gives the citizens of India answers. Manyata has been sending out SMSes for her cause, which is “Let’s stand for our fundamental rights, join ‘I Condemn’.”
Soha Ali Khan was one of the first celebrities to speak out as she started a chain mail called India Undivided with avaaz.org, calling for peace and unity at an hour of divisive crisis. “As a Muslim, I am shocked at what has been done in the name of my faith. As an Indian, I am determined to keep these terrorists from tearing our nation apart. As a human being, I join with the entire world in condemning this horrific violence,” she says in the letter. It has been signed by 65,931 people so far.
Designer Rohit Bal circulated an SMS over the weekend asking people from all major cities of India to gather at prominent landmarks in solidarity with the people of Mumbai. Bal was at Central Park and Jantar Mantar in
Delhi along with countless other protesters on Wednesday evening.
Composer Vishal Dadlani started a site called smallchange.in that calls for the judiciary to create specific laws for media coverage during emergencies. The letter has got over 7,000 responses.
Voicing strong views on blogs and letters are Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar and Anupam Kher. Johar says, “Our focus has now shifted to something so much bigger than us, but in order to fight this fear, in order to regain confidence as a city, we must strengthen ourselves. We must fix our problems at home before we can tackle attacks from outside.”