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Monday, July 22, 2024

Punjab: BKU activists stop screening of Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi for not supporting farmer protests

The screening of Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi was stopped by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members in Punjab because Kumar hadn’t come out in support of farmers’ protests that have been raging since last year.

A report by The Hindustan Times on the matter says:

A group of farmers, protesting against the three farm laws, on Saturday stopped the live screening of Rohit Shetty’s film Sooryavanshi starring Akshay Kumar in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district. They said that Kuamar did not support their protest, which has gained nationwide attention since beginning last year.

Activists of the Bharti Kisan Union (Kadian), led by the group’s district president Swaram Dhugga, staged a demonstration and a protest march from a local Shaheed Udham Singh Park to Swaran cinema against Sooryavanshi’s live screening, news agency PTI reported.

Some among these farmers tore posters of the movie put up outside the hall, and even condemned Kumar for not speaking up backing the farmers’ protest. Moreover, the protesting farmers added that they will not permit the screening of any of Kumar’s films until the three farm laws, passed by the central government, are repealed.

According to reports, screening of Sooryavanshi was stopped in Barnala, Jalalabad, Moga, and Zirakpur. Farmer leader Manpreet Singh Sandhu threatened that they wouldn’t allow films of Akshay Kumar to be screened in Punjab since he sang praises of PM Modi for personal gains. The farmers opined that the film was aimed at promoting PM Modi and had been produced by Ambani. They also accused Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol of not coming out in support of the farmers.  

Theatre owners in Moga voluntarily took down the posters and stopped the screening of the film following the protests. One of the theatre owners Raj Kumar stated that they had taken the step since the district administration had instructed them to maintain calm in the area.

Despite such hooliganism, none of the ‘champions’ of freedom of speech and expression including left-liberals have come forward to condemn such high-handedness. These are the same people who are quick to term Hindus ‘intolerant’ for merely registering their protest against films that deliberately distort history, insult Hindu icons, and depict Hindu Dharma in the most derogatory fashion.

Whether Akshay Kumar chooses to voice his support for the ongoing ‘farmer’ protests or not is his personal choice. Members of BKU resorting to threats and violence to stop the screening of Sooryavanshi and blackmailing the central government to withdraw the farm laws is condemnable, to say the least. But it is hardly surprising that the left-liberals conveniently chose to look the other way.

Readers may recall how JNU anarchists were supported by the likes of Deepika Padukone. Bollywood has been dominated by leftist ideology and hence today many of them haven’t as much stood up for their colleague as his film is being targeted. The left-liberals have a different set of rules for themselves and for others therefore freedom of speech appears to be their sole prerogative.

If they were truly the champions of free speech that they claim to be then they would call out the wanton violence unleashed by BKU and ‘farmers’ targeting Sooryavanshi, then again we are probably expecting too much from them.

(Featured Image Source: Hindustan Times)

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