‘Sedition Charges Distributed Like Prasad’ Swara’s Words to Mamata Banerjee Spark Debate
A Story by Jasmine Kaur
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently met with members of Mumbai’s civil society. Celebrities such as Swara Bhasker, Mahesh Bhatt, Richa Chadha, Kubbra Sait and Munawar Faruqui also attended the meeting.
The clip from the event rounded on social media where Swara Bhasker expressed her opinion on the current situation in the country. In the clip, Swara can be seen introducing Munawar Faruqui, Richa Chadha, Agrima Joshua, Kubbra Sait, Aditi Mittal and says how a lot of these artists “today are facing a lot of resistance to telling stories. There are many who have risked their livelihood and careers to keep the resistance alive.”
Swara Bhaskar’s view
She also talked about sedition law and UAPA and used it indiscriminately, accusing the Government of India. “Artists today are facing a lot of resistance in telling stories. There are many who have risked their livelihoods and careers to keep the resistance alive,” said the actor, who is vocal about political and social issues on social media.
She pointed out that comedians Munawar Faruqui, Aditi Mittal and Agrima Joshua were attacked by a right-wing group and Mr. Faruqui was put in jail for a month (for allegedly hurting religious sentiments).
Common citizens are facing an “unaccountable mob” which is being used by the ruling dispensation while the police and the state are giving it free rein, the actor alleged.
Mamta Banerjee’s response
In response to Swara Bhasker’s claim, Mamata Banerjee later asked her: “Why don’t you join politics? You’re a tough and strong lady.”
The actress later told Print that it was “gracious of her (Mamata) to compliment me. My question to her was about the misuse of draconian laws, especially the UAPA, and I was glad to hear her assure everyone that she will not stand for the misuse of that law.”
West Bengal CM Banerjee said the UAPA has been grossly misused. “The UAPA is not (meant) for common citizens but for protection against external forces and (maintenance of) internal security,” she noted.
Eventually, people came at her for the accusation against the government.
Twitter seems to be divided by Swara’s speech. Some praised her, others trolled the actress. One user wrote, “Thank you @ReallySwara for always taking stand & raising your voice for people. More and more power to you!”
Mocking her comment about being unemployable, another tweeted, “Swara Bhaskar says she`s unemployable today and blames Modi for it. Has she considered her remarkable lack of talent to be the cause of her situation?”
About Swara Bhaskar
Swara Bhasker is an Indian actress who works in Hindi movies. Best known for her supporting workin her mainstream productions and her role in starring in independent films, she has won two screen awards and has been nominated for three filmfare awards.
Bhaskar made her film debut as a supporting role in the commercial failure of the 2009 drama Madholal Keep Walking. She got wider recognition for her supporting role in the commercially 2011 successful romantic comedy Tanu Weds Manu. Her film performance was well received by critics, and she was nominated for her Best Supporting Actress Award and won a Filmfare Award.
Bhaskar was further praised for her performance in the acclaimed love drama Raanjhanaa(2013), the role earned her second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. She then reprised her role from Tanu Weds Manu in the film`s sequel and later appeared in the romantic drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo;Both films were one of the best-selling Bollywood films of 2015. Her protagonists in the independent films Nil Battey Sannata(2016) and Aarah’s Anaarkali (2017) earned her further recognition. She won the Screen Award for Best Actress (Critics) for the former and was nominated for Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the latter.