September 11, 2017 8:29:01 am
Kangana Ranaut is all over the news and there’s no sign of it abating! But, unapologetic though she may be, it’s refreshing to see a display of ego by a woman, taking on the big guns.
In a scene in Fashion, Priyanka Chopra’s character, being put down by her married lover’s wife, packs a punch by telling her she was away at a clinic for an abortion and to get the details from her husband, standing right there, because after all, he paid the bill. No prizes for guessing who gets the loudest claps here.
Cut to the present and Kangana Ranaut is in a mood to take down everybody who wronged her, including ex-lovers and even the wives. Only, it’s not a movie. It’s all happening for real. It’s hard to imagine how somebody can speak that fearlessly, not for effect, not in their own living room, but out there in the public eye. We’ve also never had a woman say it like it is. And, she’s not paying victim either. “I’m the last person to be wronged,” she said in an interview. Kangana Ranaut is rocking her super-stardom, but inside, she’s still the same girl who came from a small town in Himachal Pradesh and faced the big bullies. Only she’s on top now and is entitled to a “public sulk”, as she terms it, once in a while. It’s delicious to see a woman make a big display of her ego. As she said, there’s no problem with others having an ego, but please don’t forget that she has one too! And a big one. Not whining, not playing victim, but scaring the bullies into hiding.
Others have made it big before her, but unlike them, who succumb to insider status, she has thrived on being the outsider. There’s nothing to lose, except a few roles, which are already passé to the actor, who is busy creating her own eco-system, where she can write, direct and produce her films. And, if all else fails, she can retire to her dream home in the hills, where she can live a fulfilling life. Really, what’s to be afraid of?
An image, maybe? But, for those who thought threats of exposing love letters (a lot of them reportedly fake) to a married man may shame and silence her, couldn’t be more wrong. While the moral ethics of having an extra-marital affair can be debated, by refusing to be shamed for it, she has created a level playing field for anybody in such a relationship. Whether it’s a single man or woman who find themselves in a messy equation with a married lover, the shame shouldn’t kill you. And, for the latter, it’s time to take accountability. For an India that thrives on ‘Log kya kehenge’ or ‘what will people say’, Kangana has shown that there’s nothing to be afraid of, if you’re strong, independent and fearless.
Rather than shy away from her past, Kangana has shown that as a free-thinking woman, she can have her relationships, make her mistakes and take ownership for it. In a country, where women whisper about periods and fake virginity, because it’s considered ‘decent’ behaviour, it’s refreshing to have a female role model who speaks without a filter. In one interview, she remarked that when she was congratulated for having “ba**s”, she wanted to know why we couldn’t use the word vagina instead! Well, more vagina to you, Kangana!
(The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee. Views expressed are personal.)
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