A behind-the-scenes clip from the sets of Manikarnika took rounds on social media in early 2019; in the video, “nationalist” actress Padmashree Kangana Ranaout was seen riding a mechanical horse. Now, this was nothing very exclusive in the reel-world. But many commented on the reality of Kangana’s claim that entire Manikarnika crew learnt horse-riding for the movie.
All that glitters is not gold’, or more specifically- ‘Not everything that our B-town celebrities say is true (or maybe nothing our B-town stars say is true!)’.
The timing of this video was particularly important as this bite came out when Kangana was outwardly targeting every “anti-national” celebrity, left-right-center! She even criticized veteran actress Shabana Azmi for accepting an invitation from Karachi.
She even made her intentions clear with anyone who is advocating for peace with her argument that anyone talking for peace should be slapped on the streets.
This is not the end of her controversial statements over Pakistan, she in fact had also claimed that she wants to destroy Pakistan. But during all this, her own movie ‘Manikarnika’ continued to be shown in theatres in Pakistan and doing business? Did she pull down her movie after the Pulwama attack? No.
If nothing else, this video made it clear that when a heroic figure is endorsing nationalism, waving our national flag on a horse’s back- we need to zoom out to the bigger picture and realize whether he or she is really the poster boy or girl of nationalism that we think them to be. The clip was a representation of the fact that we should not believe in what is being shown in close-up (metaphorically), pull back and observe what the real agenda is!
When opinions over this came out on social media, Kangana’s sister and manager Rangoli Chandel came out in her defense and explained to us how shooting is being done. What she missed was the real point behind this outrage- it is not about how shooting is done, how mechanical horses work or whether Kangana knows to ride a horse or not.
The point is that these celebrities who think they represent our nationalism, who give others the certificate of nationalism- are they really nationalists by all means? If they think they are so, then why haven’t they stopped doing business with Pakistan? After all this chaos, the picture continued to be seen in Lahore, Karachi, and even in Rawalpindi that is considered the terror capital of Pakistan.
Enraged fans of Kangana also defended her by saying that what’s wrong in doing business in Pakistan? To them, I want to mention this term from the English language- Blood Money. Here, we are worried about our CRPF martyrs, and on the other hand, we can’t even drop a movie?!
On one hand, we support the government’s decision to increase custom duty for Pakistani traders, we support restriction of flow of river water to Pakistan; on the other hand, we don’t even question one of the biggest production houses in India, Zee5 about when they are planning to restrict their business in Pakistan.
Cobrapost already had showcased us recently that these bollywood celebrities always have an agenda behind everything they say- either money or power. We should just take their statement with a pinch of salt and not give so much heed to it.
Secondly, if there is an agenda to everything and everyone then don’t trust anyone- whether a celebrity or a ‘deshbhakt’. See for yourself and find out who said what and did what. Research a bit- just a google search and you will get the full story and not just a close-up!
Thirdly, even after weeks of Pulwama attack, none of these celebrities or production houses even tweeted their concern over their film being showcased in Pakistan. On top of that, the same stars are overtly proclaiming themselves as patriots and criticizing those who call for peace.
So, the conclusion is very clear- in such testing times, we should not trust any of these self-proclaimed nationalist or patriots and trust our own understanding and judgement of these sensitive issues to make an unbiased and uninfluenced opinion.