By Arré Bench Sep. 21, 2020
Kangana Ranaut, after weeks of contributing to the witch hunt of Rhea Chakraborty and hogging media attention in the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, has now called the farmers’ protests another effort by those who organised the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, labelling them terrorists.
The ongoing farmers’ protests in Punjab and Haryana against a set of reforms introduced by the central government have been gathering steam since the current session of Parliament began. There have been raucous scenes in the Rajya Sabha, as Opposition Members of Parliament have raised their voices against the Centre’s reforms, but the ruling coalition has pushed ahead regardless. Supporters of the government have also taken to dismissing the criticism, as Kangana Ranaut called the farmers’ protests another effort by those who organised the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, calling them terrorists.
प्रधानमंत्री जी कोई सो रहा हो उसे जगाया जा सकता है, जिसे ग़लतफ़हमी हो उसे समझाया जा सकता है मगर जो सोने की ऐक्टिंग करे, नासमझने की ऐक्टिंग करे उसे आपके समझाने से क्या फ़र्क़ पड़ेगा? ये वही आतंकी हैं CAA से एक भी इंसान की सिटिज़ेन्शिप नहीं गयी मगर इन्होंने ख़ून की नदियाँ बहा दी. https://t.co/ni4G6pMmc3
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) September 20, 2020
Kangana’s statement has caused quite a controversy, as she skirts the line of calling the protesting farmers terrorists themselves. When called out for appearing to refer to farmers as terrorists, Ranaut clarified that she was not referring to the farmers directly, but the condemnation of her comments continued online.
People who spread misinformation and rumours about CAA that caused riots are the same people who are now spreading misinformations about Farmers bill and causing terror in the nation, they are terrorists. You very well know what I said but simply like to spread misinformation 🙂 https://t.co/oAnBTX0Drb
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) September 21, 2020
Gaurav Pandhi, a Congress worker, pointed out that Ranaut, an ardent supporter of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, as well as Sambit Patra, the BJP spokesperson, have taken turns at dismissing the farmers’ protests instead of genuinely considering the concerns they are voicing.
BJP leader Kangana Ranaut says farmers who are protesting against agri-marketing bills are ‘terrorists’. Yesterday, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra called them Naxals.
For BJP, farmers are now terrorists & naxals. What next? Kill them like you did in Mandsaur?#ModiEastIndiaCompany
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) September 21, 2020
Another Congress worker, Rohan Gupta, demanded that the BJP clarify their stand on the issue or tender an apology on Ranaut’s behalf.
As She has become spokesperson of BJP , this seems to be BJP's stand ! BJP must apologise to our farmers on her behalf !https://t.co/KhAYRACW1i
— Rohan Gupta (@rohanrgupta) September 21, 2020
Some users pointed out that Ranaut is quick to wade into issues and defend the government, acting as its “mouthpiece”.
Kangana Ranaut said all the Farmers who are protesting are Terrorist just like Anti- CAA protestor
She came into limelight using the death of SSR and then became the Mouthpiece of Govt.
Shame on Her.
— Nehr_who? (@Nher_who) September 20, 2020
Student leader N Sai Balaji wrote, “Farmers are fighting for their livelihoods, security and autonomy,” just in case Ranaut needed a reminder that there are other reasons for citizens to protest beyond a conspiracy against the government.
Kangana Ranaut calls farmers who feed the nation, "terrorists".
Farmers are fighting for their livelihoods, security and autonomy.
BJP defended and protected Kangana Ranaut till date. This is what BJP thinks about farmers.
— N Sai Balaji | ఎన్ సాయి బాలాజీ (@nsaibalaji) September 21, 2020
Dissent is supposed to be a vital component of a functioning democracy. But between the government’s high-handedness in the Houses of Parliament, and Ranaut’s equation of dissenters with terrorists, its importance appears to be shrinking in the Indian context.