Kangana Ranaut arrived in Mumbai yesterday, guarded by her fresh Y-plus security, amidst heavy protests, and to an office almost demolished by BMC. The rest of the day was spent by Ranaut getting a stay order from the Bombay High Court, on the demolition, posting a series of video messages calling out Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, and posting pictures of her shredded office space, reiterating the fact that she isn’t afraid of anyone. Kangana is done being a victim, she reminds us whenever she can, but what exactly does she take home from this ordeal?

There was a collage of pictures that sparked a debate on social media yesterday. On one side there was an image of Rhea Chakraborty being mobbed by the press on her first day of interrogation by NCB, and next to it is was a picture of Ranaut walking out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai, surrounded by CRPF guards. People couldn’t help but see the contrast between the current stature of these two women, both wronged by the industry that they worked in at some point in their life, albeit in different capacities. One is currently in jail, vilified by media, her career most certainly suffering irreparably, another one of the strongly critiques Bollywood.

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There are sections of media and the general public, who see both these women as heroes and they all have their equally compelling reasons. Just a few days ago while watching the news on Rhea’s NCB interrogation, my father-in-law casually remarked jo bhi ho, ye ladki bohot hi bahaddur hai, and I couldn’t agree more. While we await the verdict on Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, we have to accept the fact that Rhea has braved an unfair media trial, and massive social media trolling, the kind which could demoralise any person.

Ranaut on the other hand had the guts to call out the systemic nepotism and favouritism that infests Hindi film industry years before this incident happened. While today, one may or may not agree with her politics, but one has to applaud the fact that Ranaut didn’t shy away from calling out Bollywood bigwigs, without a care about how it would impact her career. In fact, in light of the latest events, Shiv Sena has somehow managed to make us more sympathetic to Ranaut. So here we have, two courageous women, who are vilified by the Indian media and shunned by the industry they work in. A kinship, no one may approve of, since right now these are two women at the opposite end of the same story.

One would expect that Ranaut, having overcome the challenges she faced in Bollywood, would be more sympathetic to other women facing the same. And yet, after Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest, Kangana told Pinkvilla, “I always said Rhea is just a scapegoat, she may be a small-time gold digger or druggie but now she should reveal the names of masterminds behind Sushant’s epic fall, who finished his career? Who snatched his films? Who ruined his reputation and to top it all who gave him drugs? She should expose everyone now or else it will be too late.”

Also Read: Idolising Kangana Ranaut to vilifying Rhea Chakraborty is Misogyny at its Best

How exactly does Ranaut know that Chakraborty is a gold-digger or even a “druggie”? In her fight against nepotism, why is she okay with the collateral damage to the reputation of a small-time actor, who was in a relationship with a star? Is it fair to leave a trail of victims, in your personal or political quest of justice? Is it not possible that both Chakraborty and Rajput are victims in some context here, while she chooses to see the picture in a simple black and white, as per her agenda?

If only Kangana could see how, barring a few actors and film-makers, Bollywood has largely distanced itself from Rhea Chakraborty, just as they had done to her. How media has escalated the situation, with its problematic coverage of these women, solely driven by an agenda. How neither Bollywood nor media, cares about justice or empowerment, or an end of nepotism.

Perhaps then she could understand how she and Rhea are on the same side, despite being in a contrasting situation.

PC: Manorama/Times Now

The views expressed are the author’s own.

Rhea Chakraborty is currently under arrest and CBI is investigating her role in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. The opinions expressed are not to question the investigation but simply report on media coverage on the issue.

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