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History Will Be Kind To Kangana Ranaut

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Since the beginning of time, history has always sided with the oppressed. Surely, the conservatives may have ruled time and again, but it is the liberals who ultimately contributed towards the framing of the history. It is for this exact reason that we know that colonialism was bad, slavery was cruel, Hitler was wrong and women needed to be emancipated.

What Kangana Ranaut is doing today is nothing short of a spectacle (not at all using the word in any negative sense). She is using her position to address some of the most pressing issues that have eaten into one of the most popular industries in India. The film industry has a reach that can rarely be matched by any such entity. From rural to urban, from north to south and from old to young, the pervasive nature of the film industry, adds to it an unequivocal value which provides a basis for a plethora of studies.

Nepotism needs to be addressed, discussed and duly castigated. But that rarely happens. Take the examples of the biggest corporations or industries, nepotism looms over each, like a grey cloud in the months of monsoon.  The fact that potential and caliber must precede blood-line and favoritism has little to no sense in the business world. However, one can argue that change is happening. India’s growing disregard to dynastic politics on the state and the national levels is a welcome addition to this debate on nepotism.

Kangana Ranaut is making a dent in Bollywood, and she is doing it with utmost panache. I personally feel that it is below the dignity of the media and any individual, to address any issue related to the personal relationship that she and Hrithik Roshan maintained – and frankly, I don’t care what happened between them, and neither should anyone else. It was certainly one of the most sensational pieces of news to come out of Bollywood in decades, and the media got a massive kick out of it.

I refuse to believe that Kangana is the one who keeps bringing the issue up, as I am familiar with two particular interviews – one with Rajeev Masand for News18 and the other with Anupama Chopra for her YouTube channel Film Companion – during the promotions of “Simran”, which will confidently support my claim.

While Masand brought the issue up, leading to a resurgence of interest in the dying topic, Chopra, on the other hand, declared in the beginning of the interview that she won’t mention the issue and remained discreet. Chopra’s interview was a fantastic discussion on filmmaking and acting, while Masand’s one went down a path that tarnished the quality of the interview and the ethics involved in it. What is happening in this incessant intrusion into the privacy of an individual (or two) is that the important message that Kangana is trying to deliver is getting dissolved in the cacophony.

But hasn’t that always been the case? Rekha also led a similar kind of life. Historians will term it as controversial, unconventional and perhaps bold. Liberals see Rekha as a trendsetter, history denotes her as daring, and Bollywood bestows her with the title of ‘Legend’ – the same people who decades earlier called her a home-wrecker, husband killer and what not. Her life, which was once denounced by media and the Bollywood fraternity, is now celebrated for its courageousness. No matter what you do, women will always be judged on their worst (subjective though it may be), until a time comes when those same ‘worst’ becomes a trend for the succeeding generation.

Kangana is in the eye of the storm right now and the dent that she has been able to create rippled all the way to the top. The reaction of those who are a direct product of nepotism in the industry shows that she has been able to succeed in making a point. And let’s not pigeonhole her accomplishments to just the issue of nepotism; elitism, sexism and ageism in the industry have also things that she has called out from her platform.

Without any support or help from Bollywood, what she did is nothing short of remarkable. The recent Bollywood Diva Song in collaboration with AIB has been able to make her stand clear to audiences. It was a voice that needed to be heard and she couldn’t have delivered it in any better form.

Art is something that lives on through generations, even though gossip might die. In the long run, like many before her, Kangana will be remembered for her boldness, her bravery and certainly as a feminist icon in the industry – apart from being a fantastic actress on her own terms. Her contributions in opening a dialogue, that inadvertently inured everyone to talking about things that are usually being brushed under the carpet, must be appreciated, if not applauded. ‘History’ will judge her kindly.

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  1. Antara

    Extremely well written S G Chowdhury….this war was in any ways was never about feminism…it was always about shoving down the voice that threatened to upset the big and mighty. Nothing happened all these years until Kangana made that now famous “silly ex” reference ( she had judged him well there btw) and now every time the girl dares say anything on any public platform, she is met with bigger and well orchestrated resistance and character assassination, with lesser and lesser number of people siding with her. Who mailed whom comes later… why on earth would somebody keep on receiving unsolicited mails that runs in thousands without ever taking up the matter with concerned people….that question will remain unanswered forever.

  2. Mithila Gadgil

    Well said…She is a unique combination of talent and boldness..It is not an empty Vase…She has struggled her way to the top, perhaps more than any other outsider, and earned her rightful place with 3 national awards in her kitty, a feat not yet achieved by any other actress in the last 20 years.

    1. RohittRaina

      Surely. So what if she has done this petty crime of stalking, harassing and victim shaming a man. You can’t rob Bollywood of this national award winning actor, that would be true injustice.

  3. Akshay Joshi

    we can not judge KR for her personal life. professionally she is an inspiration to so many and people must not forget this. well done

    1. RohittRaina

      Surely, harassing and stalking and public shaming a man is a private matter. So is molestation which Tarun Tejpal is accused of. I too hope that people are not as harsh to Kangana as they are to Tejpal, even if there crimes are almost similar in nature. You got to understand, she is a woman after all, how can you treat her like any other offender!

    2. vishakha sharma

      He is such a dickhead, leave it. He thinks raping and molestation and speaking about your experiences is equal. Not to mention somehow he has already concluded in his imaginary world it happened. Thank you Akshay, when one sees a chauvinist like him it is good to see a sensible guy like you at the same time.

  4. Surabhi Singh

    I hope history is kind becoz as of now I see the trend where everything and everyone is trying so hard to turn everything against her. I am so sad to see the country and age we are in . When she gave an interview knowing that she would loose work and credibility, she only had public on her side and all other stars against telling she is cleaning her dirty laundry in public but one staged interview by mr roashan and suddenly everyone from the industry is writing open letters and judging kangana .. feel sad for her . I just hope she doesn’t end up being the next Parveen babi or all other actresses who were claimed to be mad , thrown out of the projects and work or forced to keep their mouth shut…

  5. RohittRaina

    Exactly, By the same token, history should also be kind to Tarun Tejpal and other esteemed literary or even Nobel prize winners who got sent to jail for molestation. I mean, at the end of the day, molestation/rape is just a private matter between two individuals, just like harassing, stalking and public shaming a man like Kangana did to Hrithik Roshan.

    I sincerely hope like the author and other commentator on this post that Tarun Tejpal gets to live his life. Molestation is as harmless and private a crime as stalking and victim shaming an individual.

    1. vishakha sharma

      Do you understand the difference between sexual assault and speaking your truth? Was Hrithik raped or molested by Kangana? Do you understand the difference? Clearly you don’t. So called supporters of gender equality showing their idiocy and misogyny.

  6. vishakha sharma

    Thank you for existing. Just saw a woman defaming her on this same platform.

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