Bollywood-Piyush Goyal meeting: Who attended and who skipped the meet?
Last night, the Centre organized a special dinner with Bollywood celebrities as part of its outreach program for the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. The meeting invited Bollywood celebrities for an "interactive session" with Union Minister of Railways and Commerce, Piyush Goyal, and Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Baijayant 'Jay' Panda, at the Grand Hyatt in Santacruz, Mumbai. Here's what happened at the meeting.
Who all attended the meeting with Piyush Goyal?
According to The Indian Express, Prasoon Joshi, Anu Malik, Ranvir Shorey, Kailash Kher, Kunal Kohli, Roop Kumar Rathod, Shaan, Bhushan Kumar, Abhishek Kapoor, Shashi Ranjan, Anu Ranjan, Ramesh Taurani, and Rahul Rawail were among those who were seen entering the venue of the meeting. Producer Ritesh Sidhwani was seen entering and leaving the venue within 20 minutes, News 18 reported.
Shorey details what went down at the meeting
After the meeting, Shorey—a CAA supporter—said it was about clearing "misinformation" over the citizenship law, TIE reported. Shorey said the meeting focused on how CAA only talks about granting citizenship to refugees and not taking it away. He said he addressed the issues pertaining to the CAA and NRC—which, critics say, could work in conjunction to expel Muslims from India—and was given "assurances."
More such meetings being organized: Shorey told
According to News18, Shorey said, "We were told that more such meetings are being organized with people from different walks of life." He added, "I already had no issues with CAA and I hope more people are not misled about it affecting any Indian citizen."
Who skipped the meeting?
Notably, several other Bollywood celebrities, including A-listers, were invited. However, they chose to skip the event. Javed Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Dia Mirza, Jackie Shroff, Raveena Tandon, Rajkumar Hirani, Boney Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar, Suniel Shetty, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurana, Kabir Khan, and Richa Chadda were among those who skipped the invite-only event, where the media was barred.
Akhtar, Chadda invited despite expressing solidarity with anti-CAA protests
While those in Bollywood who have been critical of CAA and/or the violence across India mostly didn't make the guest-list, Farhan Akhtar, Richa Chadda and Kabir Khan were invited in spite of their support towards students protesting against CAA.
Which Bollywood celebs didn't make it to the guest list?
Among the staunch critics of CAA in Bollywood, Swara Bhasker, Varun Grover, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anubhav Sinha, Neeraj Ghaywan, and Anurag Kashyap were not invited to the meeting, despite the invite pitching an "inclusive" discussion "around all the possible dimensions" of issues concerning CAA. Reportedly, the invite was sent to celebrities by film producer and BJP supporter Mahavir Jain on January 3.
Please talk to them about JNU: Sinha told attendees
Sinha appealed to the attendees on Twitter, "All my colleagues present in the meeting with the Government right now, please talk to them about what's going on in JNU right now. You can't offer us scrumptious dinners while atrocities go on with students." In later tweets, he said none of them responded to his calls and launched expletives at the attendees.
Protestors held placards outside meeting's venue
Meanwhile, around 50 people also staged a protest outside the venue amid heavy police security. The protestors sang songs such as Hum Dekhenge, TIE reported, and also held up placards which read, "Don't disappoint your fans," "Democracy not for sale," etc.
Parineeti Chopra, Hrithik Roshan, among those who condemned CAA violence
Apart from Swara Bhasker, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, and Richa Chadda, other actors including Parineeti Chopra, Shabana Azmi, Zeeshan Ayyub, Hrithik Roshan, Sushant Singh, Rajkummar Rao, and Siddharth, and producer Nikkhil Advani, have spoken up in solidarity with anti-CAA protestors. Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar and Kangana Ranaut have supported the legislation, which makes religion a criterion for the grant of Indian citizenship.