He posted a photo of her mother Nomita Chowdhury on Facebook on Saturday to celebrate the Mother’s Day.
The post also registered protest against a “diminishing appearance” of side characters like mothers in Bangladeshi dramas seemingly to save money.
His fans were quick to wish Chanchal and his mother well. But religious zealots also pounced on, making abusive comments for Sharmila being a Hindu. Chanchal was also targeted.
Chanchal, who works on stage, TV and film, turned to poetry for protest. He posted a clip of him reciting his Bangla poem “Dhormo” or religion on Monday.
Roughly translated in English, it goes like this:
“Brother, who has given you the right to do excess over religion in the name of saving it and ignore humanity? Are you so ignorant that you commercialise religion? All the religion speak the same - serve humanity...And you think you are bigger because you commercialise religion.”
Before reciting the poem, he told the people who abused him. “What do you stand to gain or lose if I am a Hindu or Muslim? The biggest identity of everyone is that we are human beings. May these vulgar questions and embarrassing discussions stop everywhere. Come and let’s become human beings.”
His colleagues demanded punishment of the people who abused Chanchal, terming them cyber criminals.
“I deeply condemn those who make communal, radical and obscene comments. Down with imperialism and radicalism. I demand exemplary punishment of cyber criminals,” wrote actor Rawnak Hasan.
Saju Khadem said in a post that those who are giving importance to the religious differences between Chanchal and him, although both grew up in the same place, should “immerse themselves in fantasy in a faraway cave and they do not need to come out in the light”.
“Ignorant religious fanatics always do excess over religion,” wrote Fazlur Rahman Babu.
Shahnaz Khushi said she hoped the culprits will be brought to justice. “Love and respect for the mother.”
Actor and singer Tahsan Rahman Khan, actors Ziaul Faruq Apurbo, Rita Faria Richie Solaiman and Zakia Bari Mamo, filmmaker Masud Hasan Ujjal and many others wrote similar posts in support of Chanchal.
Many have protested against the social media abuse of actor Ashna Habib Bhabna as well after she was targeted over a Mother’s Day post.