One of Bollywood’s leading directors has called on three Muslim superstars to break their silence about a new citizenship law that has triggered riots in India, saying they could influence millions of fans.

At least 25 people have died since crowds took to the streets, enraged by the Hindu nationalist-led government’s legislation, which critics say discriminates against Muslims.

“These three actors and their fan following is something else. One word from them can influence millions,” added Sinha, referring to Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.

The violence and the political storm raging around the law poses a dilemma for a film industry that is dominated by Muslim actors, directors and crew but caters for India’s broader, predominantly Hindu population.

A handful of figures have spoken out against the law and the violence, some at rallies in Mumbai, the heart of Bollywood.

“I am not saying they should agree with me or others. Their opinion can be the opposite of what we have,” he said.

Shah Rukh Khan has nearly 40 million Twitter followers, while Salman has more than 38 million and Aamir 25.

Modi has regularly appeared alongside actors and film industry figures at public events. The industry has, in turn, produced films that some critics have said approached political endorsements.