Large sections of Bollywood, including director Zoya Akhtar, actors Anil Kapoor and Alia Bhatt on Monday described the Sunday night violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University as 'disturbing' and 'shocking', and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
Zoya, Anil and Alia were forthcoming in their reaction to the violence that broke out at the JNU in which masked men, armed with sticks and rods, attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call the police.
At least 34 people, including JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.
It was a sleepless night for Anil who said he was shocked after watching the disturbing visuals of the attack.
"It has to be condemned. It was quite sad, shocking, what I saw. It was very disturbing. I couldn't sleep the entire night, thinking what has happened. It has to be condemned. Nothing will come out of violence. Whoever did this, they should be published absolutely," Anil told reporters at the trailer launch of Malang in Mumbai.
Alia said it was time to 'stop pretending' and 'strongly oppose any ideology that seeks to divide, oppress and promote violence'.
'When students, teachers and peaceful civilians become victims of physical assault on an ongoing basis, it's time to stop pretending that all is fine.
'We must look truth in the eye and acknowledge that we are a house at war with itself. We, the people of this country no matter how diff our ideologies, must find a human solution to all of our complex problems, and reinforce the peaceful and inclusive ideals upon which this country was built,' the actor posted on Instagram Stories.
'Are you still on the fence? Apolitical? In need of more information? If yes, then you either are a bigot, a coward or a dumbf***. I'm a liberal so you get to choose,' Zoya wrote on her Instagram Stories.
'Shocking disgusting and cowardly. Have the b**** to at least show your face when you want to attack innocents,' actor Sonam Kapoor Ahuja wrote on Twitter.
Actor Aditya Roy Kapur, who was speaking at Malang trailer launch, said, "There's no place for that kind of violence in our country, the perpetrators have to be brought to task, definitely."
Director Anurag Kashyap, who has been posting videos of what went inside the JNU campus, wrote, 'Hindutva terrorism is now totally out there. #JNUSU.'
Actor Rajkummar Rao called the attack on students and teachers 'heartbreaking'.
'What happened in #JNU is shameful, horrific and heart-breaking. Those who are responsible behind these attacks should be punished. #JNUViolence,' he tweeted.
Taking a jibe at the government, Twinkle Khanna said cows were safer in the country than students.
'India, where cows seem to receive more protection than students, is also a country that now refuses to be cowed down. You can't oppress people with violence-there will be more protests, more strikes, more people on the street,' she tweeted.
Singer Rekha Bhardwaj shared a news piece of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray comparing the attacks with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
'Absolute truth. Watching news last night it felt exactly like we are reliving 26/11,' she tweeted.
Actor Adil Hussain said brutality is not a solution to any problem.
'If brutality is the solution to any problem then world would have been at peace already! Brutally, even delivered, in the name of official justice system is a quick-fix, not a solution. Heart breaking to see students are being brutalised in Delhi. Must find another way with love,' Hussain wrote.
Kriti Sanon said violence was never the solution and what happened in varsity was inhuman.
'It breaks my heart to see what happened at JNU! What's going on in India is horrifying!! Students & teachers being beaten up and terrorised by masked cowards!! The constant blame game! Stooping so low for political agendas! Violence is NEVER a solution! How have we become so inhuman?' she said.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta urged celebrities to speak up.
'Dear celebrities. It is understandable that opening your heart out and being vocal on a public platform entails a great risk for you and your career. But remember the millennials who form your major audience are speaking up vociferously. Your voice matters to them,' he tweeted.
Actors Swara Bhasker, Shabana Azmi, Richa Chadha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub and Taapsee Pannu, writer Gaurav Solanki and filmmakers Aparna Sen, Vishal Bhardwaj, Alankrita Shrivastava, Reema Kagti and Anubhav Sinha were among the first to condemn the violence in JNU.
Swara, whose mother Ira Bhaskar is a professor at the JNU, took to Twitter on Sunday night to appeal to the people on social media to reach the campus 'to pressure the government and Delhi Police' to control the violence.
She later tweeted, 'My mom is safe. JNU is peaceful for now & the gates are open! Eternal gratitude to the citizen protesters of Delhi who showed up at JNU main gate earlier tonight- you saved JNU! Thanks to the media and reporters who risked their own safety & showed us what terror was unleashed today.'
Azmi said she was shocked by the violence and called for immediate action against the perpetrators.
'Is this really happening? I'm not in India and it all seems like a nightmare... Reprehensible, appalling condemnable. Immediate action must be taken against the perpetrators,' she tweeted.
Edited by Roshneesh Kmaneck