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Varun Dhawan terms boycott for Chhapaak, 'tactics to scare' 

The actor continued to speak against the violence which unfolded at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 5 January. 

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In an interview with NDTV.com, actor Varun Dhawan termed the calls for boycott of Deepika Padukone's film, Chhapaak (2020), as 'tactics to scare'. Padukone had shown solidarity with the students protesting against the violent attacks that took place in the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, on 5 January. 

Dhawan had spoken out against the violence, on 7 January, before Padukone had visited the campus. In his earlier statement to the news agency Press Trust of India (PTI), the actor said, "Cannot stay neutral on such issues. It’s dangerous and sad if masked people enter an educational institution and all this happens."

He had also put up an Instagram story, a day after the attacks, stating, "Violence in a place of education by people hiding their faces is something the police cannot allow. Political ideologies can be different but eventually, we are all Indians. This cannot be allowed. Students don't deserve this. Police and government have to provide safety." 

In his interview to NDTV.com, Dhawan said, "The 'boycott' word was used for my film Dilwale (2015) which I did with Shah Rukh Khan. For Padmaavat (2018) too 'boycott' was used. These are the tactics to scare." 

The actor also pointed out that it is such tactics that prevent industrialists and businessmen from speaking out against the ruling powers. 

Dhawan is among many high profile members of the film industry beginning to speak in opposition of the violence against students. Aside from the usual suspects of Anurag Kashyap, Swara Bhasker, and Anubhav Sinha, actresses Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonam Kapoor have all spoken out. 

Deepika Padukone's presence at the university triggered a range of volleyed criticism against her recently released film, Chhapaak. Padukone plays an acid-attack survivor in the film directed by Meghna Gulzar. The film is based on the real-life story of activist and survivor Laxmi Agarwal. 

Dhawan is currently awaiting the release of his film, Street Dancer 3, on 24 January 2020. 

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