Indian actor Priyanka Chopra is being called out on social media after she posted a note on popular photo-sharing site Instagram on Friday pledging support for those partaking in the recent wave of protests gripping Iran following the custodial death of Mahsa Amini.
“Women in Iran and around the world are standing up and raising their voices, publicly cutting their hair and many other forms of protest for Mahsa Amini, whose young life was taken away so brutally by the Iranian Morality Police for wearing her hijab ‘improperly’. The voices that speak after ages of forced silence, will rightfully burst like a volcano! And they will not and MUST not be stemmed,” the cross-over sensation penned.
“I am in awe of your courage and your purpose. It is not easy to risk your life, literally, to challenge the patriarchal establishment and fight for your rights. But, you are courageous women doing this every day regardless of the cost to yourselves,” she added.
Chopra also gave her two cents on how to ensure the movement made a profound impact. “To ensure that this movement will have a lasting effect, we must hear their call, understand the issues and then join in with our collective voices. We must also get everyone who can influence others to join as well. Numbers matter.”
She also dwelled on how silence on the issue was simply not an option. “Add your voice to this critical movement. Stay informed and be vocal, so these voices can no longer be forced to stay silent.”
I stand with you. Jin, jiyan , azaadi… Women, life, freedom, she wrote before concluding her post with a series of viral hashtags pertaining to the rights movement.
Netizens were quick to respond and scores were unsparing, to put it mildly.
“There are women in India being denied an education because they choose to wear a hijab. This fight is the right to wear what you want be it a hijab, skirt etc,” user Yasmin Mannan commented under on Instagram.
“Start by standing with Muslim women of India being FORCED to take off their hijab. Smh. Your selective activism is…appalling,” Ayesha Ghaffar, another user, said.
“Why didnt you say anything when women were brutally treated in India, France and Germany who wanted to wear hijab. Its everyone’s own choice. Why just show support wen they dont wana wear hijab? Is it really about rights or agendas.” user Aaminah Zaman questioned.
“Can you raise your voice for the women of your country too please We are also human, we also have the right to live, Munira Amjad, another user commented.
Instagram user Nadira said: “And Muslim Women in India have no right to wear one and no right to religious expression so thanks for also speaking on that…..*crickets*”
Micro-blogging site Twitter proved no exception either.
“Priyanka Chopra your activism of convenience is pukeworthy. This means nothing when you choose to look away from the plight of hijabi women in India who are denied education for wearing a piece of cloth over their head, harassed by hindutva goons and state. You are a Hypocrite!,” poet Nabiya Khan said on Twitter.
“Priyanka Chopra comes out in support of everyone except Indians,” journalist Abhishek Baxi tweeted.
“Priyanka Chopra’s concern for Iranian women is hugely appreciated, but her silence on Bilkis Bano and the state enabled persecution of Muslims, especially marginalised women in her home country, India is worth introspection,” journalist Rana Ayyub said in a tweet.
“Priyanka Chopra stands up for American black lives and Iranian women because doing so adds to her “woke” credentials in the US but never for Indian Muslims because doing so hurts her “nationalist” credentials in India,” Twitter user Siddharth said.
Twitter user Harsh said: “Priyanka Chopra knows how to make money from someone misery. She came out in support for women in Iran as a vocal world concerned activist but she is not so vocal when a dalit woman was raped, forcibly burnt, family members were beaten. She knows how to win the heart of whites.”
“Forget Priyanka Chopra, TV anchors cutting their hair in solidarity with women of Iran is not just disingenuous but also laughable. Imagine working for a media house baying for Muslims’ blood & and then claiming you care about women of Iran. Someone show these people a mirror,” editor Mirza Arif Beg said.
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