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Kangana Calls Urmila Matondkar A Soft Porn Star: Why Does She See Porn Work As An Insult?

Kangana Urmila Matondkar

Kangana Ranaut called actor Urmila Matondkar a “soft porn star” in a recent interview on Times NOW with anchor Navika Kumar, who simply sat through without objecting even once. Not just that, Ranaut made this statement twice, showing a complete transgression of public and personal ethic. As if this was not unbearable enough, she even went on to make an insensitive remark by comparing the demolition of her Mumbai office to rape. Read more on her rape remark here.

As a viewer, to see two women bring down another – and countless rape survivors – was painful, to say the least. Is it warranted for anyone to further their point at the expense of another person’s dignity?

Here’s a clip of the interview:

Ranaut Calls Urmila Matondkar A “Soft Porn Star”

Answering Navika Kumar’s question on the claim that Ranaut was creating controversy to get a political ticket into the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), she replied, “One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure it’s not very difficult to get a ticket… Even Urmila Matondkar, she is a soft porn star. I know it’s very blatant… But she’s not known for her acting for sure. What is she known for? For doing soft porns right? If she can get a ticket, why won’t I get a ticket?”

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Neither woman flinched at that particular remark, which was perhaps the most troubling part of it all. Since when did news channels become platforms of hate where women are insulted? As a public figure, and a member of the film industry, should Ranaut not maintain a minimum degree of decency while referring to other women who belong there? Heck, shouldn’t a level of regard be maintained for every woman regardless of where she belongs?

Matondkar in an interview with another channel had slammed Ranaut’s recent stance against the film industry and its alleged “drug mafia,” while saying, “Does she (Kangana) know Himachal is the origin of drugs? She should start from her own state.”

Why Did Ranaut Pass A Remark Looking Down Upon “Porn Stars”?

When Ranaut was called a “haraamkhor” by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, she had rightly kicked up a storm to call out the offence, because nobody deserves to receive abuse for voicing their thoughts. But isn’t that exactly what Ranaut did to Matondkar too, by calling her a “soft porn star”?

Or at least that’s how she intended it to be. Which brings us to the second part of this problematic statement by her. By saying that if someone like Matondkar – who is a “soft porn star” – got a party ticket, she too could get a political ticket with ease, Ranaut instantly relegated porn artists to a tier lower than mainstream film actors. People meant to be looked down upon, and for whom finding space in high professions like politics is difficult, by virtue of the supposedly “undignified” work they do.

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She took a reductionist attitude towards the field of porn, as many people tend to do, by diminishing the value of the people employed in the industry. Do people who work in porn industry not deserve a fair chance at opportunities? Should they not be allowed into the mainstream without the tag of a stigma attached to their profession? Isn’t it time we stop moral policing people’s choice of careers?

Urmila Matondkar: An On-Screen Idol For Over 40 Years

Ranaut’s jibe that Matondkar is “not known for her acting” couldn’t have been more off. Matondkar has been regarded in the Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi film industries as one of the most graceful, versatile, and freshest leading ladies ever. Right from playing the adorable, conscientious Pinky in Shekhar Kapur’s all-time classic Masoom, to taking on the aspirational role of the glamorous Mili in Ram Gopal Verma’s landmark Rangeela, Matondkar has achieved more than most in Bollywood.

Just like Ranaut, who reiterates at regular intervals about how she hails from a non-film background, Matondkar too is a self-made actor, with a journey that reaches as far back as 1980. Additionally, Matondkar has always been vocal about humanitarian causes, especially those that concern women and children. Was it then fair for Ranaut to bring down an ally of women empowerment in such a manner on a national platform? At this pace, with these obstacles, will the cause of uplifting women ever move forward in India? Where public personalities take digs at each other to settle scores?

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To Ranaut’s statement, Matondkar responded with considerable grace, reportedly saying to film critic Subhash K Jha, “I don’t think she deserves a response from me.” While this show of maturity comes as a welcome move from a senior actor like Matondkar, in light of the mudslinging she was subjected to, change can only come when others in the industry follow suit. Enough of women pulling other women down.

Image Credit: Pinterest + BollywoodMDB

Views expressed are the author’s own.