Ashish Kaul, the author of Didda: The Warrior Queen of Kashmir, has accused Manikarnika Returns: The Legend Of Didda actor Kangana Ranaut of copyright infringement. The upcoming film is based on the historical Kashmiri queen Didda, who was the first female monarch of the Kashmir Valley.
Earlier today, Ranaut had announced that she was all set to return with a sequel to her 2019 film, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Titled Manikarnika: The Legend of Didda, the second instalment in what is now going to be a franchise, will chronicle the life of ‘The Cleopatra of Kashmir’ Didda, who ruled the Valley directly and indirectly for around five decades during the 10th and 11th centuries.
Now, in an interview with The Times of India, Kaul has said, “I have the exclusive copyrights to the life story of Didda who was the Princess of Lohar (Poonch), now in Jammu & Kashmir, and the Queen of Kashmir. Is it believable by any stretch of imagination that a story and book are being usurped by a renowned actor-turned-social activist?”
Kaul went on to say that Ranaut may counter his allegations by claiming Didda is a historical figure and nobody owns her story. But according to the author, no other historian except him and Kalhana (a 12th century Kashmiri author) has any exclusive information about her.
He went on to express that he feels “deeply aghast” that somebody like Ranaut, who is “aware, knowledgeable, and apparently a nationalist” has done such a thing.
“She has blatantly violated my sole rights. It is illegal and an absolute violation of the IPR and copyright laws of the same country that she swears by. I find it so brazen and hideous and I am still inclined to believe that Kangana has been misguided,” Kaul concluded.
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