Mandana Karimi stages solo protest in Mumbai to raise voice about Iran, calls film industry's responses 'disappointing'

Oct 03, 2022 04:34 PM IST

Mandana Karimi staged a solo protest for her homeland Iran on Saturday after her friends in the industry did not give her positive responses about joining the protest.

On Saturday, actor Mandana Karimi, who hails from Iran, staged a solo protest at Mumbai’s famous Bandstand, to raise voice about the women’s rights movement underway in her home country. Mandana took to the Bandra Bandstand with a placard and stood there for hours, speaking to people and telling them about the situation in Iran currently. Iran has been facing widespread protests against the laws governing women ever since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed allegedly by Iran’s morality police. Also read: Elnaaz Norouzi on crisis in Iran: Haven’t been able to talk to my family for days

Mandana Karimi's solo protest for Iran in Mumbai.
Mandana Karimi's solo protest for Iran in Mumbai.

On Sunday, Mandana shared a 17-minute-long video of her solo protest on Instagram Reels. The video begins with her standing alone at the prominent landmark, holding a placard with information about what is happening in Iran. In the video, she interacts with passers by and also with some students gathered there, who briefly engage with her too. She captioned the video, “For Iran, for my mother’s tears, for my brother’s broken face and heart, for sleepless nights, for freedom for life.”

Speaking with times of India about the motivation behind her protest, Mandana said, “On October 1, people across the world organised a Pan Global Protest Day to stand in solidarity for Iran. 150 cities worldwide stood in protest but I couldn't find India on that list. So, I decided to organise one in the city. The responses I received from people were disappointing. They ranged from 'I have to speak to my PR team', to 'we are just two of us, what can we do?', 'It's better to post online about what’s happening back home, and give interviews'', 'I have family commitments', 'I don’t care, I don’t live in Iran anymore', 'I will put a story for you'. These were just some of the words that left me hollow and broken.”

She then added that she decided to go at it alone as a result. “I was reminded of Mahsa Amini. She was alone as well. She didn't know anyone in Tehran and that she is the reason for this movement. Saturday was important to show our people back home in Iran that we are with you. So, I went out alone, held Mahsa’s name, played Sherveen’s song and explained to the few who gathered about the current situation in my country. It was overwhelming, but I felt part of something bigger,” she added.

Mandana was born and raised in Tehran. She arrived in India in 2010 to pursue her modelling career. She has since worked in films like Roy, Bhaag Johnny, and Thar. She gained further popularity with her appearance in reality shows Bigg Boss in 2015-16 and Lock Upp earlier this year. Mandana has showed solidarity with the protesters in Iran earlier as well, posting videos of cutting her own hair and talking about the issue on Instagram. The violent protests in Iran have claimed the lives of 92 people since they began two weeks ago.

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