The unstoppable Kangana Ranaut has done it again. After lashing out at Karan Johar, Krish Jagarlamudi, Sonu Sood and Alia Bhatt, Kangana has now hit out at Shabana Azmi labelling her an anti-national. After the gruesome Pulwama terror attack, Kangana Ranaut lashed out at Shabana for cancelling an event in Karachi saying, “People like Shabana Azmi are calling for a halt on cultural exchange, they are the ones who promote 'Bharat tere tukade honge' gangs... why did they organize an event in Karachi in the first place when Pakistani artists have been banned after Uri attacks and now they are trying to save face. The film industry is full of such anti-nationals who boost enemies’ morale in many ways but right now is the time to focus on decisive actions. Pakistan ban is not the focus, Pakistan destruction is.”
Shabana Azmi refuses to get riled by Ranaut’s rant. “You really think at a time like this a personal attack on me can be of any significance when the entire country stands as one in our grief and in condemning this dastardly Pulwama attack? May God bless her,” Shabana said.
According to sources in the know, there is more to Kangana’s professed aversion to Shabana’s politics and her veiled reference to being bullied than meets the eye. In the wake of the death threats and warnings of physical harm by radical elements during the shooting of Sanjay Bhansali’s Padmaavat, the entire film industry came forward to rally around Deepika Padukone. Only one actress refused to extend any support to Deepika Padukone.
A well-informed source says, “It was Shabana Azmi who initiated a Deepika Bachao campaign in the film industry. She got every major actress to sign a petition to the Prime Minister asking for Deepika’s safety and protection. The actresses who signed included Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Vidya Balan, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha and many others, who willingly happily and unconditionally signed the petition.”
But when it came to Kangana Ranaut, Shabana was stumped. “Kangana refused point blank. She said an outright no to signing the Deepika Bachao petition, much to Shabana’s shock and annoyance,” says a source.
Kangana’s statement at that point of time read, “I was filming Manikarnika in Jodhpur, got a call from my dear friend Anushka Sharma to sign the petition written by Ms Shabana Azmi, I explained to Anushka that Deepika Padukone has all my support but I am a bit wary of Shabana Azmi's investment in left wing vs right wing politics. I have my own set of ideas and opinions about the current situation in our country. I am on the fence about many things and being a part of a feminist movement called 'Deepika bachao' lead by someone who character assassinated me when I was bullied, seems to be one of them. Anushka understood but I am glad they reached out to me. Like I said Deepika has all my support I am an individual perfectly capable of supporting who I like without anyone's support."
Strange, how personal grievances resonate in public spaces.