Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut arrives at Mohali International Airport before she left for Mumbai, in Chandigarh, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut arrives at Mohali International Airport before she left for Mumbai, in Chandigarh, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.
Photo: PTI

On Wednesday, actor Kangana Ranaut vowed to make a film on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, as well as a movie on Ayodhya. In a video posted to her Twitter account after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation took it upon themselves to demolish her office for illegal construction work, Ranaut drew a parallel with the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.

In the video Ranaut can be heard saying that she thinks Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had done her a favour. "I knew about the atrocities faced by Kashmiri Pandits...today I have felt them," she adds.

And while many have been vocal in their criticism of the BMC's actions, this comparison of her experience on Wednesday to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits has raised many an eyebrow.

"I am sorry, but from the demolition of a wall you cannot understand the pain of Kashmiri Pandits. You do not know how it is when all your hair turns white in three days; you do not know how it is when old people die in exile, crying about their inability to see home one last time," tweeted author and journalist Rahul Pandita.

"I had seen your interview where you had shared that it was only Hindu Hridaysamrat Balasaheb who stood up for the Kashmiri Pandits, your books shares that too. This insult to his memory by using Kashmiri Pandits struggle without knowing their pain should be condemned by all," responded Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi.

"Please don't drag Kashmiri Pandits and their ethnic cleansing and genocide into each and every small or big controversy in India or the world. Good that more people want to speak about Pandits and their pain but don't compare the forever ousting of a community with every event," tweeted journalist Aditya Raj Kaul.

And to be fair, there were many who felt that Kangana's acknowledgment of the atrocities faced by Kashmiri Pandits was commendable. As one user put it, Kangana had spoken "for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, for voiceless and powerless people of India".

At the same time, the fact that Ranaut was equating her experience with the BMC demolishing part of a purportedly illegal structure to the atrocities that led to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has irked many, with several users calling it a "false equivalence"

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