While she’s embroiled in a raging controversy and an elaborate legal battle over a relationship with Hrithik Roshan, Kangana Ranaut, in two separate interviews, sat down with Rahul Kanwal of India Today and Barkha Dutt of NDTV, and spoke at length about the tumultuous events that have unfolded in the past few weeks.
The actress, who collected her third National Award today, for her performance in Tanu Weds Manu Returns, said that India is an extremely sexist country that labels women who are sexually active as ‘whores’ and those who are successful as ‘psychopaths.’ “I am okay with being called that. It doesn’t affect me.” She admitted to beating up a man with a stiletto, but only because he raised his hands first. “Women can kill with success and sarcasm–why use hands? I have soft hands and a sharp mind,” she smiled.
The conversation was largely in the context of her ex-boyfriend Adhyayan Suman’s interview with DNA where he’d alleged that she was physically abusive, emotionally unstable, insecure and would also practice black magic.
She said, “A certain person doesn’t interest me. It will be shallow of me to talk about my personal equation with him. The attitude has been the same – If I can’t get you, I will destroy you. And yes, attempts have been made to destroy me.” She said the past few months have shocked her as much as they’ve shocked everyone else, and that she too, like everyone else, has moments of despair and breaks down. “It’s hard to come to terms with what has happened. But then there are always cupcakes to be had!”
She said, “Coming from a middle-class family, I can say that sexism and misogyny is a reality not just in Bollywood, but all across India. When a girl child is born, there is a sense of disappointment in the household. For way too long, women have refused to accept themselves. In the name of witchhunt, women have been burnt alive.”
For those who labeled her as a ‘psychopath’ and ‘drug-addict,’ Kangana said she isn’t humiliated by that and cited her experience of playing characters suffering from those disorders as a means that made her empathize with them. “I am not humiliated by that. It won’t work. I have great empathy for everyone who’s suffering from those conditions. It isn’t something that will make me feel bad as there is no shame or dishonour there. It baffles me that serious medical conditions can be used as in accusatory terms.”
On accusations of practising black magic, Kangana said she’s a believer of Hinduism and that her religious beliefs were wrongly perceived. “I am a proud Hindu, but my religious practices have been given sadistic names. This instills a sense of xenophobia.”
On not getting support from Bollywood, Kangana said there were people who stood by her, but not publicly. “I never expected anybody to stand for me in Bollywood. I have always stood up for myself. Why should anyone stand up for me?” she said adding that she doesn’t want to comment on a matter which will be decided in the court, but pointed out that “success was her sweet revenge.”
She finally said, “I have followed my instincts and it has been quite a roller coaster ride but I feel that I am on the right track. My journey is from a remote village in Manali to where I am today, the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It has been an extraordinary journey. It has to have so many plot points. After all, every fairy tale has a villain.”