Kangana Ranaut is proving to be a far more consummate politician than the Shiv Sena greenhorns, turning a petty verbal spat into a 'filmi' battle that she has brought to Matoshree's doorstep.
On Wednesday, likening her plight to that of displaced Kashmiri Pandits – incidentally, a matter close to Bal Thackeray's heart -- she told the powers that be: You have demolished my house, tomorrow it will be yours.
What began as a barbed exchange on Twitter with Kangana drawing on the PoK analogy and Raut responding with the obnoxious ‘haramkhor’ slur, had devolved by Wednesday evening into a scathing attack on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. ‘‘Come Uddhav Thackeray and Karan Johar Gang, you broke my work place, come and break my house now, then break my face and body, I want the world to see…Whether I live or die I will expose you regardless.’’
Truly, there is no greater fury in hell than a woman scorned.
The ham-handed Shiv Sena had clearly overplayed its hand by razing her office for petty violations to which the civic body had been privy for two years, thereby grinding into dust whatever goodwill the MVA government had accumulated in the recent past by its handling of the pandemic.
Watching with glee from the periphery was the BJP: Overnight, it had found a mascot to further its political agenda, but wisely it avoided getting drawn into the slugfest.
That Kangana enjoys political patronage was more than apparent from the alacrity with which the Union Home Minister had extended her ‘Y’-plus security. The reception committee that awaited her at the Mumbai airport – comprising Karni Sena and RPI cronies – was not the kind that even a Z-plus protectee gets. Pandemic took a break as social distancing was thrown to the wind. It was show-time as Shiv Sena protesters, too, converged at the airport with black flags, raising slogans against the actress who had to be sneaked out through an undisclosed gate, the Y-plus security in tow.
It was Sharad Pawar who first expressed his disapproval of the Sena overreach, remarking in an aside to reporters that the timing of the BMC action had given the actor "unnecessary publicity". ‘‘Illegal constructions are not a new thing in Mumbai. But the action in the backdrop of the ongoing controversy, gives rise to questions,’’ the NCP chief said. Kangana was quick to latch onto the surge of sympathy in social media; some of it emanating even from her detractors.
"Uddhav Thackeray, tujhe kya lagta hai? (What do you think?) That you colluded with the film mafia, demolished my home and took revenge on me? My home has been demolished today, your arrogance will crumble tomorrow," Ranaut said, talking very much a like a seasoned politician.
The BMC had listed 14 "violations" at her office, which included a toilet apparently built in space marked for a kitchen and an office set up in an area meant for a toilet. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar told a TV channel that the actor had failed to produce documents "within 24 hours".
The actor shared images on her Twitter handle, tweeted photos of the demolition with captions like "Pakistan..." and "Babur and his army