New Delhi: Amid the farmer protests against the three farm laws, a video of actor Deep Sidhu has now gone viral on social media.
In the video, Sidhu can be seen trying to convince the Haryana Police at Sonepat about the importance of the farmers’ protest and why they should be allowed to proceed to Delhi to protest against the three farm laws.
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana had commenced their two-day ‘Dilli Chalo’ march Thursday and clashed with the Haryana Police on their way to Delhi, with the police resorting to water cannons and tear gas shelling.
‘Actor pretending to be farmer’
In the video, Sidhu can be seen trying to reason with police to let the protesters move towards Delhi. “Ye inquilab hain. Ye revolution hai. If they don’t understand the seriousness of this matter, it will define the political structure and the geopolitics of India as well as South Asia,” he is heard saying. “It is going to be very sad for them. If you take away farmers’ land then what do they have left? Only debt?”
The video of Sidhu talking to the police personnel in English was shared first by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who mocked the actor for speaking in English, dubbing him as “poor landless farmer for whom WOKES are crying”. His tweet was retweeted nearly 3,000 times with over 17,000 likes.
The video was subsequently shared by several right wing groups including the website OpIndia, which ran an article calling him a “Khalistani supporter Punjabi actor portraying himself as an aggrieved farmer”.
Actor Kangana Ranaut soon joined the chorus with a tweet saying “hope the government won’t allow anti national elements to take advantage and create another Shaheen Bagh riots for blood thirsty vultures and tukde gang”.
Soon the Congress too jumped in, and shared images of the actor with BJP MP Sunny Deol and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congress members like Gaurav Pandhi hit out at the BJP-RSS, saying that Sidhu was a well known actor who had campaigned for BJP MP Sunny Deol as well. Actors like Richa Chadha too called out Agnihotri for trying to paint Sidhu as a farmer, even though he is a well known actor who has been vocal about the farmers’ protests.
Other users also called out Agnihotri and OpIndia for trying to portray farmers as illiterate. Congress leaders and others also tweeted about stereotyping farmers as those who are uneducated and can’t speak in English.
Actor, campaigner and activist
This, however, is not Sidhu’s first brush with political activism. He had earlier campaigned for BJP MP Sunny Deol during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He has also been actively involved in the ongoing farmers protest in Punjab. He had participated in protests at the Shambhu border when farmers had blocked the entry of trains to Punjab. However, farmer leaders that ThePrint spoke to said that he has been participating in the protest in his individual capacity. “He is not a part of the 30 farmer organisations that are holding these protests. He has come and joined this protest in his individual capacity in several places but he is not part of any of our groups,” said Hajura Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal).
Sidhu who has appeared in movies like ‘Ramta Jogi’ was a model and lawyer before he moved onto acting.