Pakistani journalist writes open letter to Indian star condemning outrageous statement

A Pakistani journalist has slammed Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut in an open letter, for Ranaut’s reaction to the
Pulwama attack that killed nearly 50 Indian army personnel.
Titled “To Kangana, with love from Pakistan”, the letter, published on a local media outlet, is going viral on social
media for its strong criticism on Kangana Ranaut’s use of language against Pakistan. In an interview to an Indian
entertainment website, the Bollywood star Kangana had said that “Pakistan ban is not the focus, Pakistan
destruction is”.

The letter states 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 neighbor gives? 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.
The journalist further questioned Kangana’s understanding of the current regional and international political and
diplomatic policies, as well as the position each country holds in the world.

“Perhaps, your understanding of boundaries and political growth still hangs in the times of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi,
for which no doubt, you must have conducted great research. Ms. Manikarnika aka Kangana Ranaut, the
independence movement which Rani of Jhansi shared with her contemporaries like Tipu Sultan, climaxed in 1947
with the creation of Pakistan and India. Pakistan is a reality and will remain, whether you like it or not.”
The journalist also pointed out in her letter the military strength of Pakistan, exclaiming that military action against
the country would not be a wise idea. “And when it comes to Pakistan, your knowledge of our military strength
seems lacking. The size of our military budget and forces may be smaller in comparison to yours, but do you know
that Pakistan’s army is the 17th strongest military in the world?”
Having said that, the journalist in the letter further lamented Ranaut’s attitudes towards her colleagues, “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 organize 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.”

The letter also pointed out that sufferings and the emotions of the Indians at this moment 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 Bollywood career and the controversies
she is facing in the industry.
“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 Chakravarty 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.

Hasnain Shafeeq

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