Alia Bhatt's latest take on a Hindu ritual has landed her in hot waters. Among many fans, Bollywood's controversial star Kangana Ranaut has also called out the Gangubai Kathiawadi actor over a commercial for a jewellery brand that questions the tradition of 'Kanyadaan'.
In the commercial, Alia's character, a bride, is seen wondering if women were 'paraya dhan' (someone else's wealth) meant to be given away to a man during 'Kanyadaan'. The bride declares at the commercial's end, "'Kanyadaan nahin, kanya maan' (Don't give away your daughter as a gift; give her respect)." She asks why she was always treated as the ‘other’ and a temporary part of their family, despite loving her so much. “Am I a thing to be donated? Why only kanyadaan,” she asks in her internal monologue.
While few agreed with Alia, others took called her out for hypocrisy. “The very industry that objectifies women in their films, web series and reality shows is preaching about “kanyamaan” Wish they would practise what they preach then women would automatically get respect.” Some wrote that it was ‘against Hindu sentiments’.
The Queen star put up a long post on her Instagram account, highlighting the importance and history of 'Kanyadaan' in Hindu culture. She also accused the brand of engaging in "anti-Hindu propaganda" and asked her followers to seek a ban on the advertisement.
In the caption, Kangana wrote: "Humble request to all brands - don't use religion, minority, majority politics to sell things. Stop manipulating naive consumers with shrewd divisive concepts and advertising."
The actual note read, “We often see a Martyr's father on television when they lose a son on the border. They roar, 'Don't worry I have one more son, uska bhi daan main iss dharti Maa ko dunga, kanyadaan ho ya putradaan (I will give him away for the protection of Mother Earth. Be it giving away one's daughter or son)."
She added, "The way society looks at the concept of (lack of equivalent word in English or Urdu using) renunciation shows its core value system. When they start to look down upon the very idea of daan (charity/donation), then you know it is time for the re-establishment of Ram Rajya. Please stop mocking Hindus and their rituals, Earth and woman."
In another post, where she explained Hindu marriage traditions, she added in the caption: "Don't become a pest who loves to abuse and condemn Hinduism just because it is the most tolerant religion."
This is not the first time that Kangana has spoken against Alia or her work. She has often taken potshots at her, criticising her acting skills and calling her a member of the ‘nepo-gang’. In an interview with Pinkvilla last year, Kangana said she told Alia over a phone call to ‘have a voice of her own’ and accused her of being Karan Johar’s ‘puppet’.
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