Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been in a fencing match with the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government ever since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajut in June.
The actor was recently given Y security status after the Shiv Sena government filed an FIR against Ranaut. The complaint against the actress who is unpopular on social media for her polarising commentary came after she compared Mumbai to “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir"(POK) and also alleged that 90 percent of the film industry was on drugs. She also claimed that Mumbai Police was inefficient in handling Bollywood’s drug mafia.
As of Wednesday, Ranaut was on her way back to Mumbai from her hometown Manali amid threats from the ruling party and an FIR. The actor purportedly chose to return as there were many people who threatened her to stay away.
Here are five times that Kangana and Shiv Sena exchanged barbs in the past few days that led to the current situation.
In an interview with the media, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had called Ranaut a “ha***khor ladki", a crass expletive meaning “scoundrel". The comments drew the ire of actors across Bollywood as well as civil society. Many including Dia Mirza, Swara Bhasker, singer Sona Mahapatra who are usually in opposition to Kangana and others slammed Raut for his comments and asked him to apologise to the Ranaut.
In Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, Raut called for action to be taken against “outsider" Ranaut who referred to Mumbai as POK. In a scathing attack, Raut called Ranaut a “mental woman", adding that the Manikarnika actress had no right to live in Maharashtra. Raut, who was recently made an official Sena spokesperson, also said that if she was afraid of Mumbai police, she should not come back.
“Needs no security"
In a follow-up interview to NDTV after calling Kangana “mental" and “ha***khor", Raut had apologised for his choice of words. But he also went on to express his anger over Ranaut getting Y category security for returning to Mumbai amid numerous calls from Sena asking her not to return. In the interview, “If the centre thinks a person who talks in derogatory language about the Maharashtra of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Mumbai of Mumba Devi, if it thinks it is right to give her security, so be it. If the National Commission for Women thinks such a woman should get security in this country, it is up to them. But the people of Maharashtra are watching," Mr Raut said.
“Break her face"
On September, Shiv Sena leader Pratap Sarnaik was reported to have demanded that a sedition case be filed against her. The leader also warned her that in case the actor came back to Mumbai, Shiv Sena’s “warriors will break her face".
“Kangana = BJP IT Cell"
Not just Shiv Sena, Congres leaders have also taken a dig at Ranaut in the past few days. Congress’s Sachin Sawant called the actor an “ungrateful lady" who along with the BJP had “insulted 13 cr Maharashtrians, 109 martyrs who laid their lives down for Mumbai" as well as Rani Lakshmibai. He also accused the actor of working alongside BJP’s IT Cell.
While condemning Ranaut’s communal comments is important, lawmakers and politicians must mind their language while speaking to or about women, especially in the public domain.
Recently, the actor’s Mumbai Office was raided by officials from the Shiv Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) who demolished a part of Ranaut’s Mumbai office, claiming it was an illegal construction. The actor tweeted images of the office, calling it, “Pakistan". On Wednesday, photos and videos of Ranaut under Y security as she made her way to the airport to return to Maharashtra went viral.