At a time when Bollywood a-listers have steered clear of controversial issues such as the anti-CAA protests and violence on university campuses, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has been one of the most vocal critics of the present government.
Speaking to NDTV, Kashyap said he doesn't fear the government of police.
"But a mad man on the street can do anything to you and that puts the fear in us... Because they have literally armed everyone, saying, 'Because you are with Modi, you are a patriot and soldier of the country,'" he said.
Bollywood, one of the most powerful film industries in the world, has come under heavy criticism over its silence on the issues concerning the country.
While Khans and Bachchans have kept mum, Deepika Padukone, in a significant departure, went to JNU on Tuesday evening and stood by students who were attacked by masked men and women on the evening of January 5.
Speaking of the significance of Deepika's visit to JNU, Kashyap said: "It's an even bigger risk when she does it on eve of her film release... it comes from within".
When asked about why other film stars were still silent on student protests and violence, Kashyap said that they "can't be forced" to speak up.
"Slowly, everyone's threshold will break... you can't force them. Everybody makes their own individual choices," he said.
On allegations that the ongoing protests are politically motivated, "Not all (protesters) are politically driven, they just want to be heard... everybody's exhausted, tired of living in fear."
He also said: "In a democracy, dissent should not be an act of courage."
On Tuesday evening, Deepika Padukone joined protests at the JNU, two days after a violent, masked mob armed with stones and sticks beat up students and teachers on campus.
The actor was spotted standing with students at Sabarmati T-point, where a public meeting was called by the alumni of JNU over Sunday's violence in the varsity.