New Delhi: Controversy over Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone’s visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus exploded on Thursday, as the government reportedly dropped her promotional video for the Ministry of Skill Development, two days after she made a surprise appearance at the university to express solidarity with the students who were injured in a mob attack on the campus on Sunday.
Issuing a statement over the reports, the ministry said, “As part of the regular process under communication and promotional activity for Skill India, we keep getting ideas from media houses and organisations to promote each other. The production team had approached Skill India for promoting the subject of the film.”
The statement added that in lieu of the same, the actors from Deepika’s upcoming film ‘Chapaak,’ which is based on an acid attack survivor, had met some acid attack survivors and specially-abled candidates which are also Skill India beneficiaries inspiring them to do better in life.
“However, there is no formal engagement with the related party. Ministry does not assign any such stuff; it is National Skill Development Authority they are the ones who take the final call,” the statement concluded.
According to reports, the 45-second video had the actor talking about acid attack survivors and Skill India.
Her visit to the campus had polarised opinions on social media, with the pro-BJP side accusing her of using the occasion to promote her film and calling for its boycott, the anti-BJP side lauding her and vowing to watch the film.
However, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has defended her saying that any citizen has the freedom to go anywhere in the country. The film has subsequently also been made tax-free in several states.