Arindam Ganguly, OP
Actor Priyanka Chopra, who until recently was the star of the country, is in the eye of a storm over her role in a recent Tv series . She has been branded a ‘traitor’ by some people, including her fans.
The controversy surrounding Priyanka Chopra, a.k.a Piggy Chop or PC among her innumerable fans, is her role in an episode of spy thriller Quantico Season-3 in which she was shown as thwarting a plot hatched by Hindus ahead of a summit on Kashmir. PC has played the main character.
Though ostensibly planned by Pakistanis ahead of a Kashmir summit, PC’s character discovers that Hindu nationalists were trying to implicate the Pakistanis. The episode, The Blood of Romeo, aired June 1, showed the main character Alex Parrish as pre-empting a terror attack.
After the episode was aired, all the hell broke loose, with some declaring PC as ‘‘an insult to India’’ and an attack on Hindus. Many Indian fans were outraged by the episode’s storyline and attacked her online.
However, she declared herself a ‘proud Indian’ in a tweet and expressed her regrets and apologised publicly. Even the TV series producers ABC apologised for stepping into ‘a complex political issue’ and defended Priyanka, clarifying she did not write, direct or cast the show.
However, the storm has not died down.
Orissa POST talked to a few city people and artistes who had had watched the episode and asked them whose fault it was and had Priyanka anything to do with it .
Sidharth Mohanty, fashion designer: “I think politics should stay away from art, Priyanka Chopra is an artiste, an actor and had made the country proud on several occasions. From winning the Miss World to her success in world cinema, she is just doing what’s dear to her. I don’t understand why there is hue and cry out of nothing. Many Muslim actors have acted as Hindus in movies. No one takes an effort to appreciate that. Why is this unnecessary criticism then.’’ About the controversy in the Quntico episode, he said, ‘‘Actors have been terrorists in movies too. Like Manisha Koirala in Dil se. I mean, they are just doing their work. Acting is an art and should be looked at it as art. There are bigger issues in the world to solve. How many people criticizing this are feeding the poor or giving roof to the homeless?”
Dipanwit Dashmohapatra, theatre actor: “A fictional plot which portrays something about India in bad light isn’t embarrassing. Everyone in the West knows it’s fiction. What’s embarrassing is the real life threats, abuse and boycotts Indian nationalists and Hindu extremists do against artistes which makes people around the world think India’s still in the Stone Age. In India, many times such things had happened where the fictional Shivas and movies were not seen or taken positively.’’
Akash Baghar, comedian: “It’s pointless to outrage on a piece of fictional TV series that is not watched by a lot of people anyway. On top of that people are ignorant of the presence of Hindu terrorism which is very much a thing, though not as global as the conventional form of global terrorism.’’
Swastik Choudhary, actor, director and producer: “In recent times it’s a new fascination that has caught us – mobbing over on the social media. While it is really good when people come together against something, seldom, it happens for a rightful and more important cause. I haven’t seen the episode from Quantico. But as per reports, I understand that people are enraged about something that was a fiction. If that’s the case, then we must all be enraged at everything that shows any group/section/society in poor light however fictional it might be. Instead, had people united against the poor quality or aesthetics of so-called popular creations, I would welcome such unity.”
Ankita Banerjee, a corporate worker: “Actors must be aware of his or her decisions in today’s time. Priyanka earlier had drawn flak for her comments. She is the one who said Hindi film industry is all about hips and b**bs. Well, I find her utterly funny. It’s very easy to sit in the comforts of Hollywood glitter and badmouth the industry that created her. She has become one of those techies who somehow lands a project on shore, gets the hell out of the country and ridicule themselves.”
Actor Sindura Rout said, “Indian fans have lost their chill and now they are not only attacking the show but also cursing Priyanka for going along with the storyline. But I think that’s the script for which the director and the writer are to blame. As actors we are supposed to be doing what the script demands of us and our directors ask us to improvise our looks, language modulation and feelings. I think, we should see the positive side of it that Priyanka is representing India. We should respect her for that. Certainly, it wasn’t her intention to hurt Indian sentiments and people should stop attacking her because she didn’t create the show. But then, everyone has his/her freedom of speech.”