Lin Laishram slams Bollywood for silence on Manipur crisis: When Mirabai Chanu, Mary Kom won medals, people were clapping, where is everyone now?
Actor Lin Laishram questions silence in Bollywood around the ongoing crisis in Bollywood, saying people need to speak up
Actor Lin Laishram is worried about violence erupting in her home state, Manipur, and is engulfed with a feeling of helplessness sitting in Mumbai. She says people are struggling to get access to basic necessities including water, and goes on to question the silence in Bollywood around the issue.
“For me, and for other Manipuris, who have come out of the state, we are all feeling helplessness. We cannot do anything apart from praying and hoping for peace to prevail quickly. But it’s a very unfortunate situation,” Laishram says, adding, “I spoke to my mother, when the crisis was at its peak, and she told me that she had not bathed for four days, because the water supply was cut off. So, people in the society are struggling for basic necessities such as food, petrol, and water.”
At least 98 people have died and nearly 40,000 were displaced in clashes between the Meitei and Kukis communities in the state.
What is adding to the difficulty is suspended Internet services, as she shares, “I try to talk to my brother every single day. I make sure that I call them, but there are times when I am unable to connect because there is no internet. There are days when they don’t pick up, and my heart is in my mouth.”
The actor had called her mother a few days back, and “she told me that they were not able to sleep last week because they were hearing gunshots every night. Homes are getting burned in the state, and people are sleeping wondering if it will be their last night. It is not easy at all. What is heartbreaking is that violence is getting normalised unfortunately”.
Even though Laishram is extremely affected with the current situation, she can’t travel to her state and bring her family back.
“I want to help my parents but they said they don’t want to leave their place and come [to Mumbai]. I don’t why is everyone taking things so lightly. We need an immediate solution to the problem,” she continues, “It is heartbreaking to see my land go through this kind of pain and violence. It could have been avoided, it could have been handled in a much nicer way.”
At this point, the actor she questions celebrities from Hindi film industry not coming out to support the state during this tough time.
“India is ruled by Bollywood, and cricket. When Mirabai Chanu or Mary Kom won a medal for the country, people were clapping. Where are these people now? Nobody cares about us when it comes to talking for us. They would rather be talking about something else, happening in Delhi or outside India. But they don’t care about what is happening in another state of our country,” asserts the actor, who has been a part of films such as Om Shanti Om, Mary Kom, and Rangoon.
She is hopeful that feels even one post from a big celebrity can help in garnering a lot of support, but unfortunately, nobody has come forward yet.
“How selfish are our celebrities? They will talk about what’s happening in America or Ukraine. They say Northeast bahut sundar hai, log achhe hain aur sports mein aage hain… Everybody is ready to celebrate, why not come together when we need these voices,” rues the actor.
Expressing her disappointment, she says, “It is an appeal to all these celebrities. It’s a shame on you for not coming together. Being with us in good times not bad times — what sort of friendship is this? Everybody has turned a blind eye to it. We need more voices. Nobody is gaining from this violence.”