Without any pretensions or mincing words, Hindi cinema actor Kangana Ranaut made two important statements during News18 Rising India Summit on 18 March.
First, that she’s a big fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and second, she would like to lend her services to this nation, if she ever joins politics.
The two-day summit ended with her session and many in the audience wondered if Ranaut was hinting at her future possibility as a politician, or even joining the BJP by declaring PM Modi as her ‘role model’.
Some even jumped to the conclusion and headlines were created on the Queen actor joining politics.
However, the two statements made by the actor — who has carved a niche for herself by speaking her mind fearlessly against bigwigs in an industry that doesn’t take any rebellion kindly — need to be viewed in the different contexts they were made in.
Ranaut didn’t use simple arithmetic to make these two statements. With her fearless charge against Hindi cinema’s established strongmen in recent past, she has proved that she is far too intelligent to succumb to making simplistic statements for short-term publicity linked to a film’s release. It can’t be said that she had been calculative in making both the statements.
She had risked her career and even herself to a certain extent by being honest in revealing her relationships. Unlike many of her ilk, who often make foolish or irrelevant statements, she not only spoke intelligently but also justified her statements. Ranaut said, “I am a huge Modi fan…He’s a right role model…That the son of a chaiwalah can become PM isn’t just a victory for Modiji. It’s a victory of our democracy.”
She tried to juxtapose, though subtly, her own situation as a rank outsider in Hindi cinema with that of Modi in national politics, by saying that in a democracy it’s important to work on equal opportunity. That probably is one of the reasons for Ranaut to choose Modi as her role model and draw inspiration from.
She talked about ‘Swachhata’ (cleanliness) without naming Modi’s close-to-heart ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ on how she had internalised the concept rather than referring to it to show her fascination for Modi.
“When I go on morning walk in my hometown Mandi, I see scattered empty packets thrown by tourists making the place dirty. My security men have seen how I pick them up and tuck it inside my pocket. I even go to people’s houses and ask them to switch off their motors when I see overhead tanks overflowing and water being wasted. Instead, they ask me, of course without recognising me — ‘Tumhe kya parhi hai yaar (why are you bothered),” she mentioned. She condemned the attitude of people (and tourists as well) who make places dirty and call India a dirty place to live in.
“It’s very cool these days to say bad things about your country. Why are you ashamed of saying good things about your country? This attitude is not right. Why can’t you maintain cleanliness rather than complaining about infrastructure, cleanliness, etc? If you have so much problem just go to other country. See, they will send you back. Just talking won’t do. I’m as good as my country. If I rise, my people and country will rise,” she asserted.
This discussion led to the term ‘nationalist’. Her quick response was that at least the word has come into vogue unlike in the past, which is good. She questioned why the word ‘nationalist’ should be equated with the word ‘fundamentalist’?
Citing example of soldiers guarding the borders, Ranaut queried, “Soldiers are guarding our borders, many of them are losing lives. Why be esoteric while talking about borders?” She didn’t say anything about her joining politics but was asked about it during the interview session nonetheless.
With a dollop of humour, the 31-year-old actor defended politics, and about her joining it said, “Politics is a wonderful field. It’s so misunderstood…If there’s no politics, there won’t be democracy and government. If I ever be in politics (laughs) I won’t wear those boring clothes that politicians wear…The way I speak frankly, no political party will ever hire me. But I love to lend my services to this country.”
She didn’t show any willingness to join politics as an alternative to cinema. So, let’s not speculate. At least, at present, she’s too busy with her films and is one of the highest paid actresses in India. Three-time national award winner Ranaut is particularly known in the media for expressing her honest opinion in public; so is her admiration for PM Modi and his work.
Published Date: Mar 19, 2018 11:26 AM | Updated Date: Mar 19, 2018 11:26 AM