Film industry association with politics is not a new development but the manner in which present gang of Bollywood minions have neatly placed themselves in the well-oiled propaganda machine of BJP IT cell is nothing but disgraceful. What started as `spontaneous´ selfies became carefully curated twitter campaigns. This was followed by starring in Modi biopics and proclaiming open support for his re-election.
In such times there are some actors who are vocal in their criticism of the present regime, commenting on mob lynching of minorities and Dalits, cinema censorship to the growing intolerance in society. Many have been silenced by attacking their craftsmanship, their sponsors and even their families.
Swara Bhaskar is one such crusader who is undeterred by the relentless attack of right-wing trolls on social media. Social media is not a kind place for a woman, let alone a woman with political opinion. In an industry where women are mostly limited to eye candy and item girls, Swara has managed to keep her voice bold and unapologetic.
Swara grew up in Delhi, has an English literature degree from Delhi University and a masters in Sociology degree from JNU. Starting with theatre in Delhi, she got noticed with supporting roles in big-budget movies like Ranjhanna and Tanu weds Manu. She has also hosted Shyam Benegal TV mini-series Samvidhaan, which was based on the making of Indian Constitution. She has made her mark with her outstanding acting in independent movies like Anarkali of Arrah and Nil Batte Sannata.
Swara is known for speaking against injustices on social media and debates on TV channels. Due to her criticism of communal hatred and bigotry under the BJP government, she has been at the receiving end of brutal trolling by right-wing Hindutva brigade on social media. She regularly gets hate messages, rape, and death threats. Despite the real danger, Swara refuses to cower down. She takes it all in her stride with much amusement.
I want to apologise to the Muslims of India & the non- Savarna castes of India & the Muslims of India again for the ceaseless offensive BULLSHIT & bigotry they have to listen to about themselves this election season. ???????????????? This is ur country, don’t be silenced CALL THIS SHIT OUT.
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) April 20, 2019
She believes that the government instead of fighting the far-right religious mobs are nurturing them. Swara has been critical of BJP for fielding Pragya Thakur, a terror accused of Bhopal calling her a “mix of politics and crime”. Recently during Maharashtra elections, trolls were at it again to malign her image by commenting on a scene she did in a movie. The slut-shaming attempt went in vain when Swara gave it back to them in her unique endearing manner.
Awwwwwww!!!!! My trolls are hard at work again, sweating it out in the heat to popularise my name.. You guys are SO dedicated & sweet!!! ????????????????❣️❣️❣️❣️ Don’t mind the slut-shaming guys.. their imagination is a bit limited.. but loving the effort you two ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/fRqjGZ3b0q
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) April 29, 2019
Swara´s has been quite outspoken when it came to Bollywood´s silence on #MeToo and regressive Bollywood movies. She wrote an open letter to director Sanjay leela Bhansali for glorifying Sati system in his movie Padmavat.
Swara has not limited herself to just a social justice warrior on social media. For 2019 LokSabha elections, she has been campaigning for various candidates including Kanhaiya Kumar who is contesting from Bihar’s Begusarai district on a CPI ticket, CPI-M candidate Amra Ram from Sikar, Aatishi Marlena and Raghav Chadha from the Aam Aadmi Party.