After maintaining stoic silence for nearly 2 years, in a country where silence is interpreted as I-plead-guilty, Hrithik chose arguably the biggest platform to speak up – the Arnab Goswami show. You may or may not be his fan, but it’s an undeniable fact that when Arnab speaks, the nation listens (or is forced to listen). Besides, to give devil his due, it’s Arnab who is responsible for opening the other side of the debate, without resorting to sensationalism, much unlike his peers.
So, the question is,
What made Hrithik’s interview any different from Kangana’s in various interactions on TV and digital media over the proceeding 15 months?
Just one thing – Kanagna’s tirade has been based on rhetoric, calculated (mis)use of feminism and woman power. Hrithik however was expected to bring to the table some cold, hard facts. This prediction didnt come from my biased stand against Kangana, but I derive it from the sequence of events that have taken place since 2014.
While Kangana has gone over to every channel and ranted about Hrithik, his father, his ex-wife, his friends, on the other hand, Hrithik only quoted the report and evidences he has shared with police. And without any form of name calling or insults, he highlighted how the “well-meaning and necessary social bias towards women” has led him to being victim shamed. Hell, he didn’t even take Kangana’s name.
So, what did we expect from the Hrithik-Arnab interaction?
Proven evidence ✔
Name calling ✘
Kangana’s family being dragged ✘
Sexist statements ✘
Victim card ✘
So when I say that truth will be spoken even before watching the interview, am I coming to a conclusion based on just generalization and guesswork? Well, welcome to the KanganaLand.
The hordes of supporters of Kangana Ranaut have been doing it since the dawn of time. Every word spoken by Kangana is a word of god, the gospel of truth. No, it’s not just for the fact that she is a woman, but her invincibility or incapability to lie also stems from the fact that she is a two-time National Award winner, while Hrithik is largely a star commercial potboilers.
So we create a truth-hierarchy based on how successful an individual is. If you career has bombed, we won’t even deem you worth talking about. So nobody even bothers to mention Adhyayan Suman, perhaps an even bigger victim of sexism against men and victim-shaming of men. But that’s a story for another day.
Glorification of Kangana Ranaut through Lies and High-Brow Prejudices
Drawing a conclusion – To use information that is implied or inferred to make meaning out of what is not clearly stated.
In India, we do not believe in that phrase, for everyone is busy jumping to a conclusion. We have our own view of the world that we must justify, even if that view is contrary to the weight of evidence. So a man may be universally shamed and sent to jail for saying and doing certain things, we hail Kangana Ranaut as the champion of feminism for using the same set of words, and performing the same set of actions.
Stalk a member of opposite sex ✔
Accuse them of having appreciated your stalking ✔
Morph their picture to prove your story ✔
Tell investigating agencies your own version ✔
Destroy evidence that proves that version false ✔
Drag the family of the alleged victim of stalking ✔
Physically and mentally harass a man in the garb of Woman Power ✔
Mix your pure menstrual blood in his food ✔
Why is Kangana Glorified in the First Place
Because never before in history has an actress with no godfather made it big in Bollywood. The legends, right from Madhubala, Nutan, Nargis, Meena Kumari to Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, and Juhi Chawla were not self-made women. You might wonder why, since they didn’t have any godfather either? Glad you asked. Well, unlike Kangana Ranaut, they were not exploited by a slew of married and unmarried men who forced Kangana into affairs with them for years.
It is Kangana Ranaut who endured physical and emotional abuses by Aditya Pancholi. Why judge her for getting into a relationship with a married man in the first place? Just because she wanted to make connections doesn’t justify Pancholi using her for 4 goddamn years.
Why Kangana’s Supporters are Justified, if Only to an Extent
Over the past 3 years, Kangana has emerged to be this strong-willed woman who can take on the world, no matter how higher up the food chain you are resting. If she feels you wronged her, she’s not going to let you get away with it.
Well, that’s exactly the kind of women we want in our modern world. Women who refuse to be victims of gender bias. Women who know how to earn and claim their place under the sun.
And this is precisely what scares Kangana’s supporters. They do not want a scenario where an icon of feminism, a strong-willed, brave woman is proven to be a liar. Because it may have repercussions.
In a country where people take pleasure from bring down people, where somebody’s fall from grace is celebrated, it is being feared that once Kangana is proven to have lied and hallucinated her way to being the champion of gender equality, people may start looking down upon strong women, as has been the case from centuries.
And so you read blogs and watch TV debates where her supporters seem to be blind to all the evidence right before their eyes. Not all of them are swayed by Kangana as much as they seem to be, it is just the fear that feminism will suffer a major blow in the guts when its supposed flagbearer is proven a fraud.