Payal Rohatgi expressed her displeasure over being arrested by the Rajasthan Police for making a video on Motilal Nehru. The actor fumed at Congress Youth leader Charmesh Sharma, and stated that there was ‘pressure’ because of which she was arrested. She also expressed her anger at the protests from the film fraternity against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the violence happening across the country, while lending her support to the act.
Payal was released on bail on December 17. When asked about the arrest, she said, “The people who follow the law are accused of not following the law, which is wrong. When Rajasthan police came to our residence, we were even ready with the reply to the notice we received from Mumbai. Even when they sent us another notice in Ahmedabad, we sent them a reply through email, we have a proper trail of it. My lawyer told me to not go to Bundi, as he felt that they will put me behind bars if I go there. He said I should get the bail and only then go. However, the hearing was to come on Monday, but they arrested me on Sunday itself. This shows that they wanted to put me in jail, they wanted me to suffer. I don’t know why they have done it, because I don’t have any personal enmity with police official.”
She added, “We have an alleged audio in which two people are talking that it was not the police’s fault and they had pressure from CM’s office and CM had pressure from those above them. When I heard it, I had even posted an apology on social media, because I don’t want to get into all this. My only intention was to talk to the media via social media, because social media is the in-thing right now. And no one has control over it. I have control over it, when it is my channel and someone else is in control when it is their channel. Despite this if I was held, it is obvious that somewhere there was pressure. I don’t know whether the content of the video was right or wrong, but the police conduct showed there was some kind of pressure.”
The 36 China Town actor fumed at Charmesh Sharma, who had filed the complaint against her, that resulted in the FIR. Payal, however, said, “Many of Sangram ji’s (fiance Sangram Singh) friends said that Charmesh ji does fake FIRs for himself. We even told the police about it, but they denied there was any FIR like that. And that he does his kidnapping for publicity.”
Protests against the CAA has become a controversial issue in the country. Even Bollywood stars have been objecting to it on social media while some even participated in a protest. Payal reacted, “B-Town celebs are quite illiterate. If I made a video on Motilal Nehru and it was misinforming, it was on someone who is not alive today. History can misguide us because we were not present in history. The celebrities from film industry who have taken to the streets against CAA are deliberately spreading misinformation. Because they are doing so either without understanding it or even after understanding it. They are intentionally spreading this to create riots. CAA is not anti-India or anti-Muslim, it is giving shelter to the displaced minorities of the two-nation theory that was created by the Congress.” She also stated that the Modi government had only simplified the provisions of the Nehru-Liaquat pact of 1950. “How can these people who are against Modi, be against the CAA. CAA doesn’t even touch the citizenship of Indian Muslims,” she added.
The actor also said, “When they don’t know anything about CAA, why are they showing interest in NRC. At least understand CAA first, they have held boards against CAA. Farhan Akhtar, who is such a good artist and I think he is a good human being also, when he was asked what were the points of the bill he didn’t agree with, he did not have an answer. So all these people who take to the streets, only because they are told to do so, and create riots, what do I say about them?”
On protests taking a violent turn in the country, she said, “If the protests were peaceful, then why did we see burning buses and stone-pelting. How did peaceful become violent? If you see follow Gandhiji’s values, then how did you take up weapons? Students should look like students right? Some from them are from a particular community. It’s not their fault either. The Indian Muslims are being instigated. This is being done by people like Shabana Azmi and Arundhati Roy, who are extremely intellectual and educated, who don’t have information about CAA and at the same time, when Nehru ji was behind the original bill, then why are they making them take to the streets and resort to violence?”
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