In one of her recent interviews, Kangana Ranaut narrated, ‘This man who must have been my father's age, hit me so hard that I fell on my head on the floor and it started to bleed. I must have been 17 or something. I picked up my sandal and I hit it back on his head hard and it started to bleed as well. That day I thought I am actually a born fighter, it made me a total badass...’
Well, looks like our superstar and Krrish hero, Hrithik Roshan had missed reading this interview completely. Had he done that, perhaps he would have thought twice before sending a legal notice to the spunky actress and his co-star from Kites and Krrish 3.
Hrithik had sent the notice to Kangana sometime in February demanding an ‘unconditional apology’ for a ‘defaming’ remark in an interview where she allegedly referred to him as a ‘silly ex’. In an apparent rebuttal, Hrithik Roshan had tweeted, “There are more chances of me having had an affair with the Pope than any of the (I’m sure wonderful) women the media has been naming.”
Kangana in turn sent a counter notice asking Hrithik to withdraw his notice within seven days which quoted her lawyer saying, "at no point did she say that the ‘silly ex’ was actually Hrithik Roshan". Kangana had acknowledged an ‘intimate relationship’ with Hrithik, something that he denied.
In his notice, Hrithik contended that he and Kangana acted only in two films and besides professional relationship there wasn’t any social, personal, platonic and/or intimate relation between them. In her 21-page reply on March 1, Kangana's lawyer said, “She is not some dim-witted teenager who has been smitten, and that whatever happened between the two of them was with full consent of both parties.”
And as the legal battle between these two talented actors rages on, one cannot help but admire the initiative that Kangana has taken and the courage she has shown in this male-dominated industry, which as we all know, is not very friendly to its women population.
How many actresses would have challenged, and taken on, a huge, highly paid and one of the most sought after superstars from an influential film family background and with tremendous clout in the industry?
“Yes, you need guts and that is how Kangana is. That is what makes her Kangana Ranaut; she will surprise you every time,” says Aanand Rai, director of Tanu Weds Manu Returns, for which Kangana, who played a double role, was recently bestowed with the National Award (for the third time).
How many would have stood up and fought this battle for justice? One wonders whether the Roshans — one of the industry’s most powerful family — had the slightest of inkling that an actress who hails from a small town with no film background, would revolt and fight back.
Amid all this blame game and muck throwing, one can't help but notice that Kangana never directly said anything to anybody. She appears to be in total control of herself while mouthing measured words. Case in point, her latest statement: “If they are sincerely seeking an apology then they must help me understand their perspective because blackmailing or threatening won’t work with me. Though my legal team is taking strict action against blackmailing and threatening me but as a girl it doesn’t scare me. You won’t get a sorry by threatening me or circulating my love poems, letters or images. I am not ashamed of anything, not my past, not my affairs, not my body and most definitely not my desire. So slut-shaming won’t work either.”
While one is not too sure about the image Kangana has built of herself, going by the numerous controversies she has encountered over last one decade that she’s been here, there’s one thing for sure — everybody knows Kangana to be a straightforward woman who speaks her mind without any fear.
Commenting on her colleagues endorsing fairness cream products, she had recently remarked, ‘I think it's very very irresponsible. There are so many things we can work on but definitely not our complexion. Beauty is everywhere; we need to make our women confident.’ Further, on the issue of gender gap and pay structure in Bollywood, she was equally vocal, "My male counterparts are paid thrice the amount. No one can guarantee success of a film so why such discrimination? I don't do one scene or one item song in a film. I can only speak for myself and I am commanding certain amount of money, but I still think I am underpaid."
Aanand Rai says, “Kangana is a fearless girl. She has always been like this and it’s not that she has transformed after the huge success of Queen or Tanu Weds Manu. She’s been an independent girl from day one. She takes her call, learns from her mistakes and she is in total control of her life.”
He further adds, “This incident will help her grow as a person, she will learn. She will continue surprising us as far as her career and choice of films and scripts is concerned."
Kangana is clearly running a parallel race against the male-dominated industry, unlike most other Bollywood actresses. It's possible that this controversy will actually do her good than cause any damage.
Danish Raza, former Bollywood journalist and creative producer, says about the actress, “Part of Kangana’s fearlessness comes from the fact that she doesn’t have anything to lose. Her image is not that of a sati savitri that her career will be affected. She has not been doing films with big production houses like Yashraj or Dharma that they will stop signing her. She has never wooed big heroes. And even otherwise she has always fought her battle, including personal tragedies like her family’s rejection and the acid attack on her sister. It was bound to happen. Having worked with her on two movies, Hrithik should have known better.”
“It is brave on Kangana’s part to fight it out, she is a strong woman who has made it on her own coming from a small town. It is truly admirable for the courage she has shown,” says a young film director, requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, Kangana is perhaps more and more convinced about what she told this writer six months back: "It's not healthy to date an actor".