Even as celebrities voice their solidarity and put up social media campaign on #BlackLivesMatter, Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has questioned their silence on the Palghar Sadhu lynching. In an interview given to online magazine Pinkvilla, wondered if the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaigned where Bollywood celebs have chipped in, is perhaps because of the ‘pre independence slavery genes’.
According to Pinkvilla, Kangana said that the Palghar Sadhu lynching happened a few weeks back but no one said a word. This, especially when it happened in Maharashtra where most of these celebrities reside. “It is a shame they [Bollywood celebrities] continue to live in a bubble and never fail to jump on the bandwagon, which can give them two minutes of fame, but ‘white people’ must drive the bandwagon. Perhaps, it is because of their pre-independence colonial slavery genes,” she told Pinkvilla.
Further questioning Bollywood’s selective outrage, Kangana said that how these celebrities would rather fight and side with a white teenaged kid but don’t have a word to say on Indian environmentalists who are doing exceptionally well without any support of help from anyone. “Some of them were honoured with the Padma Shri award. I was amazed to see their stories, but they never get the same acknowledgement from the industry. Perhaps, sadhus or tribal people aren’t fancy enough for the Bollywood crowd or their followers,” she said.
Various Bollywood celebrities including Priyanka Chopra have spoken up in solidarity with George Floyd killing.
Palghar Mob Lynching incident
On 16th April 2020, two Sadhus associated with the Juna Akhara, 70-year-old Kalpavrishka Giri Maharaj, and 35-year-old Sushil Giri Maharaj along with their driver 30-year-old Nilesh Telgadewere were on their way from Mumbai to Gujarat to give Samadhi to another Sadhu. At Gadakchinchale village, a wild and frenzied crowd of over 100 people attacked them. It was initially reported that the villagers allegedly deemed them as thieves and started attacking them. The police claim that their team which had rushed to the spot to rescue the 70-year-old man also came under the attack of the violent mob.
But later videos emerged which completely debunked the claim of police, as it was seen that the sadhus were in the custody of the police, but the police personnel handed them over to the mob. The mob then proceeded them to beat them to death in front of the policemen.
George Floyd killing
On May 25, a 46-year-old African-American man, George Floyd was reportedly murdered by a Minneapolis white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the former’s neck for 7 long minutes until his body became unresponsive. A shopkeeper had called the cops on Floyd for allegedly trying to pass a ‘potential counterfeit bill’. Despite the victim complaining about not being able to breathe, coupled with verbal protest from onlookers, the said officer was unmoved. On being taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, Floyd was pronounced dead.
Following his death, widespread riots have taken place in America and dozens of cities have been kept under curfew to bring back law and order.