Kangana Ranaut, no more seen as another Bollywood actress, but more as a media activist who has openly spoken about drug cartels in Bollywood and about nepotism which exists in the industry. Ever since Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide, Kangana has been openly questioning Bollywood’s attitude towards the late actor.
Recently when her office was partly demolished in Mumbai by the Bombay Municipal Corp (BMC), she took a stand against Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, writing in a tweet, “My home was demolished today, your arrogance will crumble tomorrow.” You can read more about this here.
Kangana Ranaut is very active on social media, she declares her views in front of all, and she often picks a perspective that’s controversial and goes against the grain of most. This is her homegrown brand of activism, the reactions to which very much tell us that India is still uncomfortable with women who speak their mind without any fear. We are willing to see actresses play misogynistic roles in films but are not willing to see them as activists in real life, who are raising concerns about society.
According to her supporters, Kangana is paying the price for speaking the truth. However, is she? Or is she just paying the price being a woman activist in India? While other leading actors in Bollywood stand silent, Kangana has been contributing to debate proactively.
The actor recently said that Rhea Chakraborty was being used as a scapegoat in the Sushant Singh Rajput case. She received support from Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister, Shweta Singh Rajput after her office was demolished by the government. More than that, though many left wingers have supported Kangana in her endeavours, India which has a majority right wing population does not see Kangana the same way.
There is little which is mentioned about Kangana’s activism in an applauding way. Little support has been given to Kangana Ranaut from anyone in Bollywood. This speaks volumes about our society. When a man tries to help anyone, he is looked at as a messiah, however, when a woman tries to help society and raises important points, she is looked at as someone who is only doing it for her “self – publicity”. There is little respect given to women who speak up on societal issues.
Once, I even heard a friend say “Why doesn’t she just go back home and chill. Why is she so angry”, when they watched a Kangana debate on screen. Often, we think that a woman who is raising points on issues is often doing it only for her own “publicity” or has a personal agenda behind it. We rarely ever see her opinions as relevant ones which reflect on society. Often, we see women who stand up for themselves as “angry” instead of seeing the reasons behind their anger.
There are many women in India who want to raise their voices for everything that Kangana has spoken about. However, once we see the treatment and support which Kangana gets, suddenly our voices feel more silenced, our agenda weak, and our points confused. If a leading actress in India is threatened with her office demolished and her voice feels silenced in this country, I cannot imagine what other female activists feel like in our country.
In India, we really need to think more about activism by women and do justice to them for their voice. Activism is necessary for a healthy democracy, we need to ensure that the activism of women gets more traction and women feel comfortable expressing themselves in spaces. As the debate about Sushant Singh unfolds, it will be great to give more thought to making activism more safe for everyone. Kangana is one of the actresses who has spoken up, we need to make sure that her voice doesn’t get suppressed just because she is a woman.
Views are the author’s own. Vidhi Bubna is a contributor at SheThePeople.TV. If you want to contribute to the platform, send your stories, blogs to [email protected]