Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut on Thursday launched an attack on “pseudo-journalists” and “traitors of the country” in a video statement shared by her manager and sister, Rangoli Chandel, on Twitter. Ranaut was reacting to a boycott by the Entertainment Journalists’ Guild of India in response to her remarks against a journalist at a promotional event for her upcoming film Judgementall Hai Kya in Mumbai on Sunday.
“I beg to you please ban me, because I don’t want that you guys can make money out of me,” Ranaut said in the video. “That’s the biggest favour you can do me.”
Ranaut began her statement by describing journalists as “pseudo-liberals” and “termites”. She said, “A section of journalists are hurting the country’s pride, integrity and equality like termites, by spreading false rumours and values of anti-national treachery. Yet there’s no penalty or punishment for them in the Constitution. These are sold-out journalists. If they were really secular, they wouldn’t attack the country on religious matters.”
Ranaut then turned her attention to the Press Trust of India reporter Justin Rao, with whom she squabbled on Sunday. Pointing out that Rao has made fun of her on social media in the past – evidence of which Chandel has been sharing over the week on Twitter – Ranaut said, “This journalist makes fun of serious causes, of me raising voice against plastic ban and cow slaughter. Then he makes fun of my film on a country’s patriot.”
The film in question is Ranaut’s January release Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi, based on the nineteenth-century freedom fighter Rani Lakshmibai. At the time of the release, Rao had asked Ranaut at a press conference about why the film was being released in Pakistan when Ranaut had criticised others for organising an event there.
On Sunday, at the promotional event for Judgementall Hai Kya, Rao began to ask Ranaut a question. She stopped him and accused him of running a “smear campaign” against her.
“You guys come to press conferences to eat free food,” Ranaut continued in the video shared on Thursday. “There should be something about you that is journalistic. I have zero tolerance for traitors of the country. You guys can get sold out for 50, 60 rupees. I have given your dads and grand-dads a hard time, so you are nothing.”
Directed by Prakash Kovelamudi, Judgementall Hai Kya also stars Rajkummar Rao and will be out on July 26. The film’s producer, Balaji Telefilms, sent a written apology to the Guild on Wednesday. Without naming Ranaut, the apology said, “While the people involved in it fairly held their own perspectives but because it happened at the event of our film, we, as the producers, would like to apologize and express regret for this untoward incident.”
The Guild told PTI that while they welcomed the apology, the ban on Ranaut will continue to be boycotted “across all media platforms”.