It was in 2017 that Meryl Streep gave a powerful speech that stayed with everyone present and all those who watched the Golden Globes 2017. She was honoured for a lifetime of notable work and while it was a big moment for her, she chose to use that platform for something people didn’t see coming- to deliver an important message. Her speech was a classic example of using her privilege and influence to try and bring about a change, not unlike Deepika Padukone, who showed the same level of bravery and whose recent visit at JNU was a textbook lesson in how to use privilege to support others.
Meryl Streep spoke courageously about those sitting in places of power bullying those with less power. We can’t help but draw parallels between her speech and Deepika’s stance. In the last few days, thousands of people hit the streets, protesting against the violence at JNU, relentlessly going at it day and night hoping their collective voices were loud enough to be heard by the authorities and those in powerful positions. Amidst all this, Deepika Padukone’s silent presence at JNU very clearly demonstrated that she stood with the students, and against the violence. Deepika, unafraid of the repercussions from people in powerful places, came as a ray of hope to all those who were desperate for big names and influencers to reach out, and for those whom every shred of solidarity was important. People were divided- some applauded her, some dissed her move, but they all took notice of the fact that she showed up and took a firm stand.
Many claimed that her presence at JNU had an ulterior motive- PR, Chhapaak promotion and so much more. While we cannot know that, all we know is that she showed up at a time when people really needed it and urged Bollywood to come through. It came at a price and she knew the repercussions, of course. She undertook a colossal risk. A section of people were furious and were trending #BoycottChhapaak and #BoycottDeepika.
But there was also another side to this, people came out in support, lauding her for being more courageous than all the Bollywood biggies combined. Her number of followers only soared higher, reminding people that there is still hope, at a time like this. A barrage of hatred and severe backlash was inevitable. She knew what she was getting into, and she was criticized for the same, with people dissing her move. One thing she did gain though, was people’s respect. The actress had a lot at stake, yet she was out there, choosing sides and standing with them, silently supporting them.
Deepika Padukone showed no one else can make any kind of excuses anymore. This moment in time will go down in history, just like Meryl Streep’s speech. Above all else, these ladies set an example that it is important to use their privilege and act on issues even in difficult times when it’s hard and scary. Especially then.
Before ending this, we take a look at one of the most hard-hitting quotes from Meryl Streep’s speech: "When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."
Image Source: Instagram/viralbhayani, Facebook/The Raw Story
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