You know you are doing something right as an entertainment journalist when Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel blocks you from following her Twitter account.
“You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user,” a message popped up on April 16 morning when I attempted to access her Twitter account to find out more about her latest rant.
This was discovered a few minutes before Twitter suspended her account when several Bollywood insiders flagged Twitter and Mumbai Police over her spiteful tweets.
To put things in perspective, Chandel’s Twitter account was suspended on April 16 morning by Twitter for inciting hatred, bigotry and religious intolerance. Her series of tweets in the past 48 hours about shooting all those who attack doctors and medical professionals in India who work hard during coronavirus pandemic was laden with a diabolical violent streak.
Chandel, who is an acid attack survivor and Ranaut’s publicist, labelled all those anti-social elements who pelt stones at doctors as ‘terrorists’ who should be shot at sight.
To call Chandel, Ranaut’s publicist and controversial sibling, abrasive and provocative is letting her off the hook too easily. She is the kind of person who holds a grudge for life if you write something negative about her sister’s film. My review of Ranaut’s period epic ‘Manikarnika’ wasn’t filled with praise and perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I unwittingly made an enemy of Chandel. She hates dissenters.
Bollywood talents and managers are notoriously sensitive. Chandel is no different. You rub her the wrong way, and she will hit back. Blocking someone on Twitter isn’t a crime, but knowing that those who work in Bollywood have zero tolerance to criticism of their work is disheartening. When journalists in entertainment do their jobs well, they are often punished for it subtly by Bollywood stars, managers and their handlers.
While Ranaut and Chandel should be lauded for making it big in Bollywood without any insiders, there’s no ignoring how arrogant and self-involved the two have become. Chandel will make her displeasure known if you rub her the wrong way. For instance, when jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali — who is related to Ranaut’s alleged ex-boyfriend Hrithik Roshan — called her out for her spiteful tweets and urged Twitter India to suspend her account, Chandel swiftly called her and her family “a bunch of drug addicts”. She even accused Ali Khan’s husband of being caught in a drug case in Dubai.
Chandel’s modus operandi is simple. Strike swiftly and take personal potshots. The Bollywood tweeting game can be a bloody sport and Chandel is the queen of that ring.
If Alia Bhatt or Ananya Pandey win an award, Chandel will question their merit openly on Twitter. Her account, with 95.6k followers, is charged with hate and misguided entitlement.
While blocking a journalist like me isn’t a big deal in Chandel’s grey world, it is a clear indication to how spiteful things can get.
On the bright side, there’s one less toxic tweeter to deal with.