Journalist Union Condemns Kangana’s attack on Mediapersons

BUJ condemns actor Kangana Ranaut's attack on entertainment journalists

BUJ expresses solidarity with PTI journalist Justin Rao

Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) condemns the unwarranted attack on entertainment journalists by Hindi film actor Kangana Ranaut and expresses solidarity with PTI journalist Justin Rao, who became an unlikely victim of the actor’s unprovoked and unjustified ire.

The BUJ is shocked at Kangna Ranaut’s irresponsible and unjustified rant against journalists. The attack on journalists who dare hold independent opinions as anti-national and ‘traitors’ to the nation is not only dangerous but of a piece with an increasingly authoritarian narrative that is unfortunately endemic in all sections of society today. This trend, which is inherently intimidatory and seeks to warn dissenters to toe the line or else…, must be stiffly combated by all those committed to democratic values.

Last week, in a press conference related to her forthcoming movie ‘Judgemental Hai Kya’, the actor took umbrage at a question posed by Rao. She did not even allow him to complete the question and accused him of running a smear campaign against her as well as trashing her earlier movie Manikarnika. Rao, while denying her allegations, stood his ground.

The Entertainment Journalists Guild demanded an apology from the actor and producer Ekta Kapoor, threatening a boycott of the movie. While Kapoor apologised, Kangna Ranaut went further in her attack on the media. She released a video in which she called journalists as ‘anti-national’, freeloaders, termites and dared a section of media to ban her. She arrogantly claimed that journalists earn their bread and butter because of her.

Absurdly, her manager and sister Rangoli issued a legal notice alleging violation of the Press Council’s code of conduct for journalists (without referring to the organization) and said that journalists who support or encourage the Entertainment Journalists Guild would be guilty of ‘conspiracy, connivance and abetment’.

Perhaps Ms Ranaut and her legal advisors are unaware of the fact that this code, excellent as it is, is self-regulatory and does not have a legal mandate. Besides, there are other mechanisms for citizens to seek redressal of their grievances vis-à-vis the media. In addition, may we point out that the right of association is a fundamental right in the Constitution of India. 

The BUJ echoes the demand of the Entertainment Journalists Guild that the actor apologise for her remarks and calls upon the actor to desist from her attacks on the media and her attempts to malign journalists and question their integrity.