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OPINION | Kangana Ranaut's Patriot Act Needs No Introduction, but Requires Correction

While actors are often accused of playing it safe with diplomacy (did anyone say Amitabh Bachchan?), Kangana Ranaut is far placed on the other end of the spectrum.

Shilpa Rathnam | CNN-News18

Updated:March 7, 2019, 12:52 PM IST
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OPINION | Kangana Ranaut's Patriot Act Needs No Introduction, but Requires Correction
File photo of Kangana Ranaut.
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This not about the US Patriot Act or comedian Hasan Minhaj’s TV series. This is about Kangana Ranaut, who at a recent event said she feels like “going to the border, snatching someone’s gun and doing the deed”.

While actors are often accused of playing it safe with diplomacy (did anyone say Amitabh Bachchan?), Kangana Ranaut is far placed on the other end of the spectrum. And even though the liberals were staunchly on her side during the Hrithik Roshan fracas, being a Modi supporter didn’t factor any liberal love for her.

During an interaction with Sadhguru in August 2018, she had said, “People who are liberals are actually fanatics.” While liberals are largely tolerant of such views, her sympathetic comments about lynching by cow vigilantes that changed the tide. There were murmurs about how Kangana, with her increasing Right-wing positioning, was flirting with the idea of entering politics.

However, she was soon to shut down all such speculation.

As soon as the Pulwama terror attack happened, Kangana Ranaut explosively remarked, “Pakistan ban is not the solution, but Pakistan destruction is… Anyone who lectures about non-violence and peace at this time should be painted black, put on a donkey and slapped by everyone on the streets.”

We were informed by her PR that she even cancelled the success party of Manikarnika in light of the attack.

After the return of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman though, I received an invitation to the success bash of Manikarnika and “the celebration of our hero Abhinandan’s return”. Actually, the invite I received from her team member was to celebrate the return of war hero “Abhimanyu”, but I do not blame Kangana for this message. In fact, it’s a deviation from my point and yet, it was too funny to not warrant a mention.

It could be argued that the actress’ patriotism extends as far as throwing a separate bash for Wing Commander Varthaman, but one does not want to trivialise.

At the bash, she was questioned about her film’s release in Pakistan, even while she criticised Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar for organising an event in Karachi in February, saying they shouldn’t have done so in the light of the Uri attack in 2016.

Kangana defended the release of her film in Pakistan claiming that distribution is not in her hands. That’s a valid point, but perhaps, not one Kangana herself might accept coming from someone else.

Taking a cue from Hollywood and visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals might help bolster the morale of army personnel a lot more than empty jingoism. Akshay Kumar, for instance, regularly makes donations to the families of martyrs and is currently touring the country, raising funds for the slain CPRF jawans.

Let’s accept it. It would be a travesty for the actress to clamp down on her outspokenness that sets her apart from the cookie-cutter actors and their humdrum quotes. But to buck the prevailing trend, where anyone who speaks of tolerance, peace and moderation is called an ‘anti-national’ is flagrantly irresponsible, and not befitting of a Queen.

(Views are personal)
| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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