The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee on Friday said it had sent a legal notice to actor Kangana Ranaut, seeking an unconditional apology for her “insensitive remarks” about the ongoing farmers’ protests. This is the second such notice issued to the actor this week.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjinder Sirsa said the allegations against Ranaut relate to a derogatory tweet she made about the mother of a farmer. Ranaut had misidentified the old woman as Bilkis Bano, the “dadi of Shaheen Bagh”, and wrote that she can be hired for Rs 100 for a protest. Later, Bano had also corroborated that she was at her home and was not the one seen in the photo.
“Ha ha ha, she is the same dadi who featured in Time magazine for being the most powerful Indian...And she is available in 100 rupees,” Ranaut said in a now deleted tweet on November 29. “Pakistani journos have hijacked international PR [public relations] for India in an embarrassing way. We need our own people to speak for us internationally.”
Sirsa said the actor’s tweets portrayed the farmers’ protests as anti-national. “We demand an unconditional apology from her for her insensitive remarks,” he added.
On December 2, a lawyer from Punjab’s Zirakpur town had also sent a legal notice, demanding an apology from Ranaut for her tweet within seven days. “It is to inform you that the said lady is not a fake lady,” the legal notice said. “Her name is Maninder Kaur and she belongs to village Bahadur Garh...”
The notice also said that Ranaut mocked the farmers’ protest with her tweet. “By tweeting in such a manner, the same also points out that the protest which is being conducted by the farmers, is being conducted by bringing people on rent,” it read.
Bano came to join the farmers’ protest at Delhi-Haryana’s Singhu border on Tuesday evening, but was taken away by the police. “I am here to support the farmers,” she had said at the protest site. “They supported us during the protests in Shaheen Bagh, and now we are here for them. We urge the government to roll back the new farm laws.”
Thousands of farmers from several states in India, especially Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting for nine days at Delhi’s borders. They have been demonstrating against the Centre’s agriculture laws. Talks between farmers and the Centre on Thursday again failed to break the impasse though the meeting lasted for more than seven hours. Another round of talks is scheduled to take place on December 5.