Last Friday, P Jayaraj and his son Bennix, were taken into police custody for allegedly opening their mobile phone shop in Tuticorin, beyond the permitted hours.
What followed were a series of disturbing events, including extreme police brutality and alleged sexual assault, all of which led to their deaths in custody.
The issue has shaken the nation's conscience and protests are being held at some parts to demand justice for the father and the son.
Protests all over Tamil Nadu demanding justice for Jayaraj and Fenix Emmanuel. Activists demanded the police and jail officers involved be charged with murder, immediate delivery of compensation for the family and detailed investigation into the conduct of doctors. pic.twitter.com/pyQha4Ygni— Working Class India (@WorkingClassIn1) June 26, 2020
In that context, it is disappointing to note that 8 days have passed but many celebrities people look up to, have nothing to say about the issue. And even worse is the fact that these same people raised their voices against police brutality in the US after George Floyd's murder. This selective activism, why?
1. Karan Johar had posted a picture of a black background, an initiative taken to create awareness about the anti-racism protests. However, there have been no words from him on the brutal murder of Jayaraj and Bennix.
2. Sonam Kapoor, too, had shared this post on the importance of not being neutral in times of crisis. So far, there has been no comment from her on the killing of the father and the son in Tamil Nadu.
3. Actor Malaika Arora had posted this on her Instagram story during the Black Lives Matter protests. However, the same support wasn't lent by her for the Tamil Nadu police brutality.
Also noteworthy is - #AllLivesMatter, which is problematic to begin with. To say something like that and then stay quiet on problems happening in the country can only be termed as unfortunate.
4. Similarly, Sara Ali Khan had posted this on her Instagram story during the Black Lives Matter protests. Again, complete silence about the current Indian issue.
5. Deepika Padukone, also someone who had shared posts for the anti-racism protests, hasn't said anything about the Jayaraj and Bennix case.
On the other hand, celebrities like Sobhita Dhulipala, Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma have used their social media accounts to raise awareness about the issue.
In times like these it is important for celebrities to amplify the voices of those who don't have one. There are people dying at the hands of more powerful forces and the least anyone with privilege can do, is lend them support.
*The celebrities listed above hadn't reacted on the issue at the time this article was written.