Bollywood star Deepika Padukone is leaving Twitter divided after visiting India’s New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where students were attacked.
On Sunday, the protesters faced a brutal assault by masked suspects with alleged links to a student group backed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reported Al Jazeera.
Padukone is now the biggest star of the country so far to back the protesting students, however, there are mixed reactions to her appearance circulating on Twitter.
The 34-year-old star, who was in New Delhi for promotions of her upcoming film Chhapaak, attended the meeting and stood as former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar gave a speech.
Dressed simply in black with her hair swept back into a bun, Padukone was flanked by her publicist and her manager. She left without saying a word after around 15 minutes, leaving the rest of the world to interpret her actions.
The star’s presence on the university campus led to trolls slamming her and calling it a promotional, PR stunt for her film. However, there are many others on the social networking site lauding her for showing solidarity with the students.
Several hashtags, both positive and negative, like #DeepikaPadukone, #IStandWithDeepika, #BoycottDeepikaPadukone and #BoycottChhapaak have been top trending on Indian Twitter since Tuesday evening.
Bollywood celebrities such as Anurag Kashyap and Konkona Sen were among those who tweeted in support of the actor. “Mad respect for her,” Kashyap tweeted, pointing out that Padukone is also a producer on her upcoming film, which could lead to boycotting.
Meanwhile, A Death in the Gunj maker Konkana Sen Sharma tweeted “respect” for the actor.
Controversial Indian journalist Arnab Goswami also made a viral segment about Padukone’s presence at JNU, saying, “Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone don’t know anything about the issue, they may know the abbreviations, but beyond that in detail they actually know nothing.”