Bollywood actors show their support for Indian farmers: From Priyanka Chopra to Sonam Kapoor

Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh can be credited with spurring on his peers

The ongoing farmers’ protests are certainly not the first to be held in India, with deep-rooted causes – such as a skewed price system and corporate interference – often swept under the political rug.

However, this week Bollywood stars have shone a light on the issue, with a number of actors and filmmakers speaking out in support of farmers in North India, who are protesting new laws that they fear will further deteriorate their positions and profit margins.

It all started when Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh stood with the farmers during their protest at the Singhu border; the Udta Punjab star also made a monetary contribution of 10 million rupees ($135,000) to the cause.

Dosanjh's stance seems to have spurred his peers to speak up, if not show up. Here are the voices that have made themselves known.

Priyanka Chopra

She may live in the US and toe the line between Hollywood and Bollywood, but Priyanka Chopra has always maintained that her Indian roots are important to her. The actress and singer took to Twitter on December 6, calling the farmers "India's foot soldiers". She also retweeted Dosanjh's rather more passionate posts to her 26.8 million followers.

Preity Zinta

Another actress who moved to the US, Zinta, the daughter of an Indian army officer and originally from the north of India, said farmers "keep our country going".

Riteish Deshmukh

The son of a political bigwig himself, the Housefull actor was one of the first to take to Twitter to support the protest, using the hashtag #JaiKisan (salute to farmers), and writing: "If you eat today, thank a farmer."

Sonam Kapoor

The Neerja actress took to Twitter and Instagram, quoting American statesman Daniel Webster: "When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilisation."

Sonu Sood

The Dabangg star was lauded for the financial aid and transportation he supplied to Mumbai's migrant workers during the thick of the city's lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The Punjabi actor also came out in support of the farmers, with two tweets in the past week. Likening a farmer to one's parent, Sood posted: "Kisan hai Hindustan", meaning the farmer is India.

Richa Chadha

Dosanjh aside, Gangs of Wasseypur actress Richa Chadha was among the early wave of supporters for the farmers' causes, taking to Twitter to share articles published by the digital platform People's Archive of Rural India, as well as highlighting the similar plight of farmers in the state of Maharashtra.

Taapsee Pannu

Another early supporter, Taapsee Pannu has shared images and footage of Haryana police using water cannons to disburse protests last month, as well as asking her followers to "#BoycottFood" upon hearing that farmers were permitted to enter the capital city of Delhi to protest on November 27.

Pannu also countered Punjabi actor and director Gippy Grewal, who criticised Bollywood and its many North Indian actors for not supporting the state of Punjab and its farmers soon enough.

Pannu remarked that while mainstream actors may have been slow to act, others have been behind the cause since the beginning.

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