The Irony: Karni Sena Who Wanted to Chop off Deepika Padukone’s Nose, Now Wants to Protect Kangana Ranaut

Social Commentary

The Irony: Karni Sena Who Wanted to Chop off Deepika Padukone’s Nose, Now Wants to Protect Kangana Ranaut

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Actor Kangana Ranaut, whose recent comments comparing Mumbai to Pakistan occupied Kashmir earned her the wrath of the Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra, was recently granted Y-plus security by the Union government. But a personal security officer and 11 armed policemen are not enough to protect the actor-turned-bully. On Tuesday, reports say, she also received some support from the unlikeliest of groups: Volunteers from fringe outfit Karni Sena have offered to pick Ranaut up from the airport when she arrives in Mumbai on Wednesday and escort her home.

“There will be a team of Karni Sena members at the airport who will take Kangana to her home with their own security,” a member of the Sena, Jeevan Solanki was quoted as saying. This act of “courteousness” comes just a few days after Ranaut indicated that she was more scared of the Mumbai Police than the “Bollywood mafia” whom she has been tweeting about since the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.

The sudden offer to escort a Bollywood actor will, however, come as a bit of a surprise to anyone who has been keeping up with the Karni Sena in recent years. This is the same outfit, after all, that had threatened to chop off Deepika Padukone’s nose, and behead director Sanjay Leela Bhansali prior to the release of Padmaavat in 2017.

Many will also recall that in 2018, the Karni Sena had set their targets on Ranaut, accusing her of going against Hindu tradition with a dance sequence as Rani Laxmibai in the film, Manikarnika. Back then Ranaut had responded to the threat by saying she would not apologise. “I am a Rajput and I will destroy them,” she had said.

This week, however, all hatchets seemed to be firmly buried, with the outfit courteously offering to “protect” the actor, who has had two FIRs filed against her for her recent comments on the city, and has sparked yet another raging controversy online.

In the last week alone, Sanjay Raut has called Ranaut a “mental case” and accused her of “spitting in the plate she eats from.” He was also criticised and asked to apologise after he called Ranaut a “haramkhor ladki”. Ranaut, meanwhile, tweeted that BMC officials had visited her property in Mumbai and threatened to demolish it.

As this tussle gets uglier by the day, chances are that the surprise entrance of the fringe group Karni Sena is not going to smooth things over.