Bengaluru, Dec 20, 2017 : Bollywood star Sunny Leone’s tweet, announcing her inability to attend the New Year’s event in Bengaluru on safety grounds triggered a massive outpouring of support from twitterati. They wondered aloud how a ’progressive’ government surrendered to the threats of fringe elements and failed to guarantee her safety.
Here’s how Leone rationalised her decision to opt out of the celebrations: "Since the police of Bangalore have publicly said that they will not be able to ensure mine & all who attend safety for my New Years event, my team & I feel,safety of the people should always come first therefore I cannot attend. God bless & I wish everyone a safe & happy New Year!"
The tweet had earned 3,700 likes and 666 retweets by Tuesday evening, sparking a huge debate on law and order, safety and the government’s position.
Standup comedian Kunal Kamra responded through a tweet to the Congress, questioning their double standards. "Shameful that you guys criticize law and order in UP but can’t even manage an event in Bangalore, Chodo yeh double standards & get your act together on this one."
Writer and blogger Sandip Ghose tweeted that he was proud of Leone’s stand. "More power to you. Surprised that a government under the progressive #CongressPresidentRahulGandhi not able to provide security. Stay strong. The youth and the young at heart are with you," he said.
But he was disappointed that the liberal citizens of the city had not issued a statement and organised a march on Brigade Road in support of the actor.
Another Twitter user wondered how the city police could back out from providing security to a performance. "This is the failure of the system in which we live today..moral policing by a bunch of goons.. and shocking that a police machinery of a state cannot ensure security," tweeted another user, Suresh.
A few dubbed the threat to Leone as part of right wing extremism. "If you cannot provide security for such a small event then how would people of Karnataka feel safe?" wondered one user. However, another user, Capt Mohit Kohli termed Leone’s decision as a wise move.
"Moreover, an artist should not perform in such an unartistic environment, hampers your spirit. Come to Delhi instead...Please!" he urged her.
In Gaurav Tiwari’s views, Karnataka Rajyotsava or New Year’s eve can both happen simultaneously. "It must be left for the crowd to decide what they want to attend," he said.