Illustration by Soham Sen/ThePrint.
Illustration by Soham Sen/ThePrint.
Text Size:
  • 7K
    Shares

Kangana Ranaut’s blood is boiling these days, especially after the Pulwama attack, and understandably so. No one doubts her patriotism. But it seems neither should we doubt her business acumen. Ranaut’s Bollywood hit movie Manikarnika is doing good business in Pakistan.

Last month, Jayantilal Gada, the producer of The Accidental Prime Minister, which stars Bollywood’s pin-up patriot Anupam Kher in the lead role, thanked Imran Khan copiously  after Pakistan’s censor board gave a green signal for the film’s release.

And now, both Kangana Ranaut and Anupam Kher are busy lecturing Indian liberals on what the right anti-Pakistan posture should be.

No one has ever accused Kangana Ranaut of mincing her words. And, her reaction to Pulwama was in full-on Rani of Jhansi mode.

“Pakistan has not only violated our nation’s security, they have also attacked our dignity by openly threatening and humiliating us,” she said. “We need to take decisive action or else our silence will be misunderstood for cowardice. Bharat is bleeding today; the killing of our sons is like a dagger in our gut. Anyone who lectures about non-violence and peace at this time should be painted black, put on a donkey and slapped by everyone on the streets.”

Sure, Ranaut’s Manikarnika released long before the Pulwama attack. But Ranaut has not asked for the film to be withdrawn. At least Ajay Devgn has decided that his film Total Dhamaal will not release in Pakistan. Dinesh Vijan, producer of upcoming movies Lukka Chuppi and Arjun Patiala, has decided that his films will not release in Pakistan. But Ranaut has kept Manikarnika out of the patriotism test she is imposing on others.


Also read: Kangana Ranaut is Ms Bharat on the warpath, with cow and contempt in her armour


Kangana Ranaut’s “decisive action” is about training her guns on Shabana Azmi whom she accused of encouraging “Bharat tere tukde honge” gang. Azmi is an easy target. She was planning to be in Karachi for her father Kaifi Azmi’s birth centenary celebrations. She cancelled her plans but Ranaut dismissed it as a lame attempt to “save face”.

Jaish-e-Mohammed planned the attack on a CRPF convoy in India. But the patriotism tests are promptly administered to those Indians who are perceived as too wishy-washy liberals. They are the low-hanging fruit for social media warriors and celebrities who are itching to teach someone a lesson. Jaish is out of reach, but liberals are sitting ducks.

“Pakistan will be taught a lesson, but what do we do of enemies within the nation?” BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia asked on Republic TV.

That apparently includes ordinary Kashmiris as Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy endorses a call for a boycott of all things Kashmiri.

A debate is definitely needed on whether cultural exchanges with a country that is harbouring known terror masterminds achieve anything.

Will all the goodwill towards Rahat Fateh Ali Khan or Fawad Khan translate into any kind of peace in the region? Even a Shabana Azmi now doubts the efficacy of these people-to-people contacts.

The cultural ties between India and Pakistan are undeniable. But the cross-border terror attacks are also undeniable. The All India Cine Workers Association has announced a total ban on Pakistani actors. Sourav Ganguly has demanded India cut off all sporting ties with Pakistan.


Also read: The double life of Anupam Kher: Hollywood’s favourite desi & BJP’s pin-up patriot


We can argue the merits of the ban but the irony is that this debate quickly turns into target practice aimed at only one segment of Indians – the liberals. Every word of theirs is put under a microscope. They are hauled over the coals for perceived sins of too much cross-border ‘aman ki asha’. The Kangana Ranauts and Anupam Khers of the world, cloaked as they are in an armour of fiery jingoism, are immune from such scrutiny.

Navjot Singh Sidhu, admittedly a motormouth, has been booted off the Kapil Sharma show for saying this: “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual? It (the attack) is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly.” Many self-appointed nationalists saw his comments as too pro-Pakistan. Anupam Kher said, “Sometimes when you talk too much, it can lead you to talking rubbish.”

In 2016, the same Anupam Kher was complaining about not being given a Pakistani visa for the Karachi literary festival. Pulwama had not happened then but it’s not as if Kher did not know that Pakistan was regarded by Delhi as a nerve centre of terrorism.

When Kher’s The Accidental Prime Minister was cleared by Pakistan’s censor board, the film’s producer Jayantilal Gada issued a statement saying, “Pakistani moviegoers will be able to enjoy the film as it is set to release there. I always admired Imran Khan as a brave cricketer, and now I respect him as a Prime Minister, too.”

Anupam Kher, surprisingly, had nothing to say on the clearance from Pakistan. Instead, he took to Twitter to recite a poem about a #SaluteToASoldier that moved him. Asli patriots just need a poem to prove their patriotism. And, he spent his time bashing perceived liberals for good measure by tweeting: “I notice some people are trying to make their personal harassment on social media bigger than the tragedy of our #Phulwama brave hearts. Please don’t get fooled by these usual suspects. They r trying to deviate us. They don’t want us to come together even in our national grief.”

In fact, patriotism can also be good business.

Subhash Chandra of Zee, a Rajya Sabha MP, proved his patriotic zeal by asking Pakistani artistes working in India to condemn the attack in Uri or leave. He announced Zee would revamp its Zindagi channel without Pakistani serials. But patriotism seems to have geographic boundaries. As Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Zee TV will sponsor and promote Pakistani bands a day after the Pulwama attack but because it’s in Dubai it’s all kosher.” The concert being promoted by Big Zee was ironically called ‘All For Love’.

Abdullah made it clear that it was not the event/sponsorship that bothered him, but the hypocrisy. For Zee, it was a win-win. They could whip up hyper-nationalistic fervour against Pakistan on television screens at home and ratchet up the TRPs while sponsoring Pakistani bands abroad. All for Love isn’t an aberration. Twitterati point out that Zee Studios is all set to distribute Load Wedding, a Pakistani rom-com, worldwide. Patriotism clearly does not have to get in the way of profit if you are smart. Sacrifice is so 1947.


Also read: Bharat Mata Ki Jai: Not patriots, Indians now want to be patriotism police


The point is not whether India should have cultural links with a country it is accusing of fomenting terror attacks. The point is not whether we should go down the rabbit hole to investigate whose son has a Pakistani business partner or a Pakistani spouse and use that as a litmus test for their patriotism. The point is whether what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.

If it’s not, this performance patriotism is just an exercise in hypocrisy, which has little to do with love for India’s Army or concern for India’s security or even Pakistan. Instead, it has everything to do with cornering liberals and teaching them a lesson.

In these troubled times, nationalists ask not what they can do for their country, but what liberals can do. Further, they demand that liberals should do what they preach. As for sacrifice, Kangana Ranaut is also sacrificing something. She cancelled her Manikarnika success party, didn’t she?

Sandip Roy is a journalist, commentator and author.

Get the PrintEssential to make sense of the day's key developments


  • 7K
    Shares
28 Comments Share Your Views

28 COMMENTS

  1. The article epitomizes everything that is wrong in India today: the sneering, supercilious, assumed false superiority of the self-appointed elite who arrogantly tell Indians how to live while they spend their lives being ashamed of being Indian. The true children of colonization.

  2. Online leftist urban naxal media with band wagon of hybreed psudosikular liberals having soft corner for terrorist and anti India element and advising us about nationalism .

  3. Well I don’t care a damn for these so called patriots. I salute the army defence who protects us from outside harm and condemn the CRPF attack and deaths. Who are we to judge the whole nation …if there is cockroaches in a house we don’t poison everyone who lives there but only attack selectively the cockroaches..and if he cockroaches is coming from our neighbours house maybe because they are not good at keeping their house clean we need to help them clean their house so that we both will have no cockroaches. Hence instead of giving ear to foolish cry of war from people who are ignorant souls we should ignore them completely and work towards getting rid of terrorist s together. This will automatically solve our Kashmir issue.

  4. Sandip Roy…. just as being “alright” with “Bharat tere tukde honge” sentiment is your right. So is condemning openly such acts is the right of the likes of Kanganas and Anupams. There is so much hatred for that!!!
    The first and foremost responsibility of a blogger or a journalist, should be towards the nation and of unbiasedness. Why are you so concerned about the said people ?? in this hour of grief, shouldn’t you be focusing on writing an article about martyrdom and antiterrorism?
    You seem to have a soft corner for the likes of ……… please do a little search here, a little research there and have the spine to write about why certain people support liberals!! (Read about their Pakistani girlfriends’)
    P.S. common man is not so ignorant as you think they are!

  5. Kangana should chose her words very carefully… since she is a celebrity a lot of people look upto her and any wrong statement can lead to disastrous consequences. Didn’t everybody’s heart pained when they saw photos of kids, women, men in war torned countries? When someone talks about non violence and peace are they really anti national? War not only kills their people but ours too. Why do we want more people to be martyred? Some decisions are best left with the govt, there are always consequences for all actions. Kashmiri people are our people, why should we boycott them? If they are not included in our society more of them will become easy targets of external influences. One should always remember life is not always black and white, there is also an element called gray.

  6. Sandip Roy with his imbecile remarks has proven that, there are people like him in our society who wont hesitate to put their pseudo-intellectualism ahead of national pride.
    For common man to understand his kind, they can be plainly defined as some ‘people born out of wedlock’. Anupam and Kangna cant speak for the Hindus and Indians but some pseudo-intellectual Sandip Roy has the license to marginalize the Hindu sentiment !!
    If Sandip Roy is trying to prove that he is in the same league of people like Pappu, who he thinks is the epitome of secularism, must first unveil their own brand of secularism to people. We, the common man of this country are quite content to rally behind people like Anupam, Kangna, Akshaya etc. Its no rocket science to judge a person like Roy who has problem with people who speak for the country and stand for the Hindus. Should one hesitate to call imbeciles like Roy as some free lancing Pappus !

  7. Sandip Roy with his imbecile remarks has proven that, there are people like him in our society who wont hesitate to put their pseudo-intellectualism ahead of national pride.
    For common man to understand his kind, they can be defined as some ‘people born out of wedlock’. Anupam and Kangna cant speak for the Hindus and Indians but some pseudo-intellectual Sandip Roy has the license to marginalize the Hindu sentiment !!
    If Sandip Roy is trying to prove that he is in the same league of people like Pappu, who he thinks is the epitome of secularism, must first unveil their own brand of secularism to people. We, the common man of this country are quite content to rally behind people like Anupam, Kangna, Akshaya etc. Its no rocket science to judge a person who has problem with people who speak for the country and stand for the Hindus. Should one hesitate to call imbeciles like Roy as some free lancing Pappus !

  8. Kangana is right that Azmi cancelled an event to hear praises of her dad in pak to save face. She was down with swine flu as per reports. She stands exposed. You can spin this any which way but azmi is hypocritical about nationalism and women empowerment.

    • Bwahahaha!

      ‘Dear’ Judge & Jury, cite those medical “reports” from independently-reliable [re]sources. Also elaborate how does the so called “women empowerment” relevant here?

      And, puh-lease… ‘Rakhi Sawant 2.0’ can only talk long! She has already rendered herself unqualified to be a judge of somebody else’s character with her shenanigans and given the market-landscape, doesn’t appear to be even willing to work towards salvation — either.

  9. All pseudo Patriots. AK has to because there is stake for his better half in Chandigarh as last time she had to face another celebrity Gul Panang.

    • Ha!

      But they chosen a very dignified picture for somebody currently earning his bread-&-butter from American TV with his laidback, wasted character championing liberal causes to the degree which will make his Indian acolytes red-faced.

  10. Mr Sandip Roy has decided upon himself to bat for ” liberals”! He thinks – an actor who says “I feel unsafe in India” is a liberal,the JNU “Tukade Tukade gang” a liberal,Ms Arundhati Roy who supports Kashmiri Separatists and Hurriyat a liberal.His write up intends to condemn Nationalists and citizens who do not pass his ” liberal” test.Manikarnika was released in Pakistan before Pulwama attack and therefore what is the logic in asking for it’s recall. Despite being invited for Karachi Litfest Shri Anupam Kher was denied visa.His disappointment for being denied visa is natural.However, eagerness of Shri Anupam Kher to go to Pakistan on invitation cannot be seen as a support to Pakistan Govt.Mr Kher is right when he outright condemns Pakistan for using terrorism as state policy against India.Mr Gaurav Bhatia is right to demand action against enemies of India who do everything to undermine sovreignity and unity of India -be the local people who provided support to perpetrator of Pulwama attack or people who have now come to be known as “Tukade Tukade gang” for openly espousing disembering of India or Mr Arundhati Roy who openly condemns Indian Security Forces for their actions in state of J & K and many more such ” liberals” Indians.If Mr Subash Chandra,the owner of Zee asked Pakistani artists in India to condemn Uri attack then why that should be held against him for Zee TV hosting a Pakistani Band in Dubai the very next day of Pulwama attack. Even if Zee TV goes ahead with distribution of “Load Wedding” a Pakistani rom- com then why Mr Subash Chandra cannot revamp Pakistani serial Zindagi? Any change in commercial decisions entered into before Pulwama attack cannot be unilaterally done and therefore honouring or modifying them cannot be seen as a” double standard” on part of Mr Subash Chandra.It is high time people like Mr Sandip Roy should stop deciding who will fit into his definition of liberals. He should refrain from commenting on the actions of people who are not liberals as per his definition and also avoid qualifying such acts as hypocrisy just to buttress his contention that “The point is whether what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander”.

  11. Sandip Roy whether anybody has any doubt about Anupam Kher or Kangna Ranaut’s patriotism or not, that’s immaterial. But it seems that you are hell bent to prove that her patriotism is in doubt. I’m not much of a movie buff but atleast I know few things about the movie business & i.e. that the distributorship of any movies doesn’t lie within the per view of the actors or actresses of the movie. It lies with per view of the distributors of the films. So why blame the movie stars or throw the shadow of doubt upon them?? Why not blame the distributors instead?? And if you yourself consider yourself as a better patriot than Anupam Kher & Kangna Ranaut then why don’t you launch a campaign against such film distributors for stopping of distribution of movies in Pakistan or any where else??

    • nationalism*/radical patriotism* There! FTFY ☺️
      ‘Dear’, apart from being a loud-mouthed heroine (‘Rakhi Sawant 2.0’?!!) — Ms Ranaut has herself exerted her influence in the production of the said feature in more ways than one.

      So given the sincerity of her incendiary “outburst”, what’s stopping her to get the “distributors” to stop?

      Last time I checked, Zee® (‘the Indian Fox®’) “virtue-signals” nationalism left and right and at every single opportunity feasible! Mere days ago, Mr Chaudhari himself made it a goal to inform everybody that the event organised by their English-language channel has rescinded invites to Pakistani policymakers, so what was her apprehension?
      If that’s not enough for you to comprehend (assuming you’ve a good-faith to start with), then need I spell-out which fallacy you’re harping on?

  12. Anupam Kher one cannot stand, but Queen is a pretty lady. She should stay away from conventional politics and learn a little diplomacy in dealing with the rest of Bollywood.

    • Nach…

      She’s a “beauty with brains”!

      She knows very well that ‘Conserdickism’ (read rabid Conservatism) sells like hot-cakes in India. So why shy away from capitalising?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here