I once briefly met Kangana Ranaut for my weekly one to one show. Those interviews were of a type - the star promoting a film and you do a hurried interview, hoping to kindle a spark.
Most times you don’t, and the results lack any journalistic joy. I remember Kangana as being extremely shy and awkward. Answering questions in monosyllables and refusing all eye contact.
This was for a promotion of Raaz - The Mystery Continues in 2009 in which she had acted with then boyfriend Adhyayan Suman. In desperation, I cast around asking her about the then boyfriend. She replied that he drew her hearts in the sand on her birthday. So far so Mills and Boon.
Today when I see Kangana give near speeches when she does interviews with chosen Panna Pramukhs I am astonished. Is this the same shy and reticent girl with a pronounced regional accent?
What changed Kangana Ranaut so much?
Last night she called Urmila Matondkar, who is a noted actor, “a soft porn star” and added for good measure that she could also get a ticket to contest elections from a political party. Kangana had earlier called Swara Bhaskar and Taapsee Pannu “B grade actors” and also dismissed Pannu as a “sasti copy” (cheap copy of her).
Kangana compared her office demolition for illegal constructions repeatedly to “rape”. Words fail me at this point. How can any woman trivialise rape?
Kangana attacked veteran actor and Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan, who had defended the film industry in the House without a mention of Kangana, by tweeting how will you react if your daughter Shweta Bachchan is in my place beaten, drugged and molested? Would you say the same thing if Abhishek complained of harassment and was found hanging one day. Show compassion for us also.”
This kind of dehumanised personal attack as a reply to a veteran actor left many wondering. Jaya Bachchan and her entire family were attacked post Kangana’s intervention on social media by the usual suspects.
Hema Malini, multiple term BJP member, also supported Bachchan’s stand. Significantly Kangana did not attack her.
Urmila, who she dismissed as a “soft porn star,” had actually praised Kangana in her interview calling her a “lovely actor” while disagreeing respectfully with her views. There seems to be no provocation for Kangana going off the deep end. And, which feminist in the world will actually attack another woman by callously calling her a “soft porn star?”
This is not the first time Kangana has used extremely derogatory, problematic language against her colleagues - she had made some terrible reference to Sonam Kapoor and Rhea Chakraborty as well.
Kangana, however, is an equal opportunity offender. She has used terrible language about Karan Johar and attacked actors Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh as alleged drug users.
Her rant against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is too recent to mention and her language attacking Mumbai as “Pakistan occupied Kashmir” and the municipal corporation as Babur’s Army, mirror those of a what’s app bigot patronised by a certain political party. She has also serial attacked Aditya Thackeray, a minister in the Maharashtra government and Uddhav’s son, as having alleged multiple links with Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and Bollywood and drugs.
Today, apart from abusing various people, Kangana posted a video wishing Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday.
Connect the dots of Kangana attacks and victims and it makes sense suddenly. Kangana is not unhinged, but is brilliantly reinventing herself as candidate Kangana for the BJP. Post the claim of the alleged affair with Hrithik Roshan, Kangana had pretty much burnt her bridges with the film industry. Despite her claims, her last three films were flops and no big superstar or producer was willing to work with her because of her “difficult reputation”.
Read more from Swati Chaturvedi
- Calling the Indian media hounding Rhea Chakraborty vultures is an insult to vultures
- Sushant-Rhea drama: In India, it’s all about raja beta, being a woman is a crime
- Operation Lotus prepares to conquer Bollywood as BJP eyes political battles in Maharashtra and Bihar
- Bollywood stars must act to the BJP’s script or be turned into villains
Kangana then capitalised on this to say she had refused to work with the three Khan superstars - Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman. Nobody asked them to refute.
Kangana with her Y category security, the same that is given to the Chief Justice of India, now is a bludgeon that the BJP is using against Bollywood and the Shiv Sena.
Kangana has already taken a swipe at Sonia Gandhi for being quiet on her demolition.
Expect the rants to continue except that her minders have said she should not attack Mumbai (makes it uncomfortable for BJP Maharashtra). Somewhere she has latched on to make public interventions in the Rajput case now forgotten. Candidate Kangana is in the political fray.