A Pakistani journalist, in an open letter to Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, has criticised her response to the Pulwama attack that killed at least 49 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.
The letter “To Kangana, with love from Pakistan” published on a local media outlet stated that “The day Pulwama attack happened was highly inappropriate,” adding that the entire nation condemns the attack, however, “what we don’t accept or agree to, is the vicious backlash India spurns on us, each time a tragedy occurs”.
“At a time when Pakistan is focusing on improving its economic ties, what benefit would an adventure like this or worse, a military attack on its neighbour give? On the other hand, India is preparing to elect a new government, with its existing one struggling to retain its vote bank. The odds and evens, political gains and losses are quite evident here, for any layman to understand,” the letter said.
“Believing in the mantra your media churns each time a violent incident takes place in India, that is, shift the blame to Pakistan, is the practice an average Indian has adopted. You are no exception, but what made you think that you could choose any word to express your anger and hurt? Here, I’m referring to a sentence in your interview to an Indian entertainment website, where you say, ‘Pakistan ban is not the focus, Pakistan destruction is,'” the letter further said.
The journalist further questioned Kangana’s understanding of the impact that this might have among other things including ties with different countries.
Having said that, the journalist in the letter further said, “In your suffering, you struck a blow to your own native Indian, to your own fellow artiste from Bollywood, that also your senior, Shabana Azmi. You blasted her decision to join a literary event in Karachi and questioned her patriotism. “Why did they organise an event in Karachi in the first place?”, you had asked. Let me ask you: if this is how you feel about Pakistan, how could you allow the screening of Manikarnika in our country? How could you bear that your own production is allowed to run in cinemas of the country you hate? Perhaps, you don’t mind the business coming in from Pakistan, although you are quick to condemn other cultural exchanges.”
Not only that, it was further stated that the emotions of the Indians are “understandable” but at the same time Pakistan has suffered violence for a long time as well and at a “greater frequency”.
“Pakistan never imposed any ban on trade, health or cultural exchange, except screening of Indian content on mainstream television and radio. In fact, I’m surprised at the civility shown by my otherwise equally emotional native Pakistanis, who may have spewed anger and boycott at your movie after your venomous comments, but they didn’t,” the letter said.
The letter ended with a piece of advice for Kangana to concentrate on her spat with co-director Krish Jagalamudi for Manikarnika’s directorial credit among others.
“Your emotions are charged, to say the least. But for now, my sincere advise to you would be to concentrate on your spat with co-director Krish Jagalamudi for Manikarnika’s directorial credit. The controversy you have stirred with Shabana Azmi, criticism by Mishti Chakravartyy who is not happy with her role chopped off in your film, your heartless comments on Alia Bhatt, to say the least. Your hands are full, Kangana. Improving ties with peers may improve the prospect of your career. Broken ties between nations will heal with time, provided a concerned leadership,” the letter concluded.