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Friday, April 16, 2021

Kangana Ranaut versus Shiv Sena: Everything we need to know about the tussle

When the country is facing the worst economic slump since decades, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging on with nearly one lakh cases every single day, there are two things the Indian media is most concerned about — the Sushant Singh Rajput death case and the brimming tussle between Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena. The two parties in the latter case are at loggerheads with their war of words since the past few weeks after the actor’s controversial comments calling the city of Mumbai similar to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

None of the two seems to be in any mood to back down from their positions leading the issue being snowballed into a massive controversy. But, this might look like a chicken and egg problem as it’s quite complicated to figure out who instigated whom and what led to this sudden outburst. Here’s what we know so far.

The latest development in the controversy is that Kangana Ranaut left Mumbai on September 14 saying she was doing so with a “heavy heart” after being “terrorised” with attempts to demolish her office. “Must say my analogy about PoK was bang on,” added the actor. “With a heavy heart leaving Mumbai, the way I was terrorised all these days constant attacks and abuses hurled at me attempt to break my house after my workplace, alert security with lethal weapons around me, must say my analogy about POK was bang on (sic),” she tweeted as she headed to the airport.

After landing in Chandigarh for returning to her hometown in Himachal Pradesh, she tweeted that her security had reduced significantly and people were greeting her with joy. “It seems this time I was saved. There was a time when I felt a mother’s touch in Mumbai, but today the situation is such that I am lucky to be alive. The moment Shiv Sena became Sonia Sena, the Mumbai administration became a terror,” she posted in Hindi, targeting the Sena as well as Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Kangana is currently back in her hometown Manali after her short visit to Mumbai when her Bandra office was demolished by the BMC.


The tussle: Kangana vs Shiv Sena

If you ask what led to this day, then we have to start from the very beginning. From what is public knowledge it all began when the ‘Queen’ actor posted on Twitter that she felt insecure and unsafe after Sushant’s death in the city and with that compared Mumbai to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. “Sanjay Raut Shiv Sena leader has given me an open threat and asked me not to come back to Mumbai after Aazadi graffitis in Mumbai streets and now open threats, why Mumbai is feeling like Pakistan occupied Kashmir?” Kangana had tweeted.
Responding to her comments, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut called her ‘haramkhor ladki’ in an interview, also stating that other Bollywood stars should have come forward to protest the remarks against Mumbai. He also labelled the entire tussle a means to defame the image of Mumbai. “Once again the efforts to vilify the image of Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai have begun. These attempts are made by the ‘outsiders’. But, as per tradition, the moles inside our own house are to make them stronger. In the intervening period, Mumbai was called Pakistan. BMC was referred to as ‘Babar’ after the municipal corporation took action on the illegal construction of an actress (Kangana Ranaut) who insulted Mumbai,” Raut wrote in his article in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
Reacting to the same, Kangana had posted on Twitter, “In 2008 Movie Mafia declared me a Psycho, in 2016 they called me a Witch and Stalker, in 2020 Maharashtra Minister publicity gave me the title of Haramkhor Ladki because I said after a murder I feel unsafe in Mumbai, where are INTOLERANCE debate warriors?”

Kangana had flown to Mumbai on September 9 to check on her office premises after BMC’s demolition. Following a plea filed by the actor against the razing of alleged “illegal alteration” at her office in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court has stayed the demolition drive for now and adjourned the hearing until September 22. BMC has further filed its response in the matter saying Kangana’s allegations of harassment and mala fide action by BMC were entirely false and unwarranted. Ranaut’s lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui has sought time to respond to the affidavit, according to reports. In her tweets, Kangana compared her office space to the Ram Mandir and had shared, “The first film in Manikarnika films, Ayodhya was announced, it is not a building for me but Ram temple itself, today Babur has come there, today history will repeat itself Ram temple will be broken again but remember Babur this temple will be built again, this temple will be built again, Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram.”


Who will win?

Meanwhile, Kangana received Y-plus security from the Centre after her father requested the Himachal Pradesh chief minister raising concerns for his daughter’s safety. Kangana’s father also met Jai Ram Thakur and submitted a memorandum that his daughter was being subjected to harassment and based on his request, the Himachal Pradesh chief minister informed the Centre about the situation, according to Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy.

After returning to her hometown, the actor also hit out on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for BMC’s demolition drive.
Kangana posted a series of videos on Twitter, showcasing the damage done by BMC’s demolition at her Bandra property. She also took to the micro-blogging site to share a clip addressing Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, wherein Kangana was seen speaking, “My home was demolished today, your ego will be destroyed tomorrow. This is the wheel of time, remember, it never stays the same. You have done a favour to me. I knew what Kashmiri Pandits had gone through but today I felt it too. I vow to this country that I will make a film not only on Ayodhya but also Kashmir.”

Kangana has also accused the Sena of targetting her because she wants to expose the movie mafia who the CM’s son Aaditya Thackeray allegedly hangs out with. “Basic problem of Maharashtra CM is why I exposed movie mafia, murderers of SSR and its drug racket, who his beloved son Aaditya Thakeray hangs out with, this is my big crime so now they want to fix me, ok try let’s see who fixes who!!!,” Kangana said in a fresh tweet. The controversy seems to be still escalating without a visible end to it. Only time will tell what will happen in the near future.


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