Mumbai: Actor Abhay Deol on Wednesday called out “woke” Indian celebrities who have expressed their stand against racism in America over the killing of George Floyd, while remaining silent about the “systemic problems” in their own country.
There have been widespread protests in the US over the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was pinned to the ground in Minneapolis last week by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath.
Many from the industry, including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Disha Patani, Karan Johar, Tiger Shroff, Priyanka Chopra, condemned the death using the hashtag Black Lives Matter.
The “Dev D” actor uploaded a picture on Instagram with hashtags “migrant lives matter, minority lives matter and poor lives matter”, the issues which have come to the fore in the wake of the coronavirus-led lockdown, preceded by the riots in northeast Delhi in February.
“Maybe it’s time for these now? Now that ‘woke’ Indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard?
“America has exported violence to the world, they have made it a more dangerous place, it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically,” Abhay captioned the picture.
The actor said it’s not that Americans “deserve it” but urged people, including celebrities, to look at the larger picture.
“I’m saying look at the picture in its totality. I’m saying support them by calling out the systemic problems in your own country, because they turn out to be one and the same thing.
“I’m saying follow their lead but not their actions. Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country. That is what the black lives matter movement is all about!”
Abhay said in the larger scheme of things, there is no “us” and “them”.
“There is not a country that’s real. But a planet in peril. #migrantlivesmatter #minoritylivesmatter #poorlivesmatter Black Lives Matter (find out why not to use the hashtag and still support the movement),” he added.
Many Bollywood celebrities have been called out on social media for their selective outrage about oppression in the US and their silence regarding events happening in India.