- While celebrities, journalists and politicians accused her of inciting violence and fueling tensions, her supporters lamented the ban and urged Twitter to remove it.
It was just a matter of time. Twitter banned Kangana Ranaut and suspended her account for “repeated violations of its Hateful Conduct policy and Abusive Behavior policy.” Just minutes before the May 4 suspension, the actress had posted a series of tweets on the alleged violence that took place in West Bengal after the assembly election results were declared on May 2. “We have been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm” Indian media quoted a Twitter spokesperson as saying. “We enforce the Twitter Rules judiciously and impartially for everyone on our service.”
Ranaut, who had over 3 million followers on Twitter, had sought imposition of president’s rule in West Bengal after Mamta Banerjee-led TMC secured a landslide win in the state. “But my heart goes out to the people of this nation who have been tortured, enslaved, and censored for thousands of years, and still, there is no end to the suffering,” said one of her tweets. “This is horrible…we need super gundai to kill gundai…she [Mamata] is like an unleashed monster, to tame her Modiji please show your Viraat roop from early 2000’s,” she wrote. Ranaut’s tweet has since been shared by many of the nation’s cultural and political figures.
The “Manikarnika” actress had also uploaded a video on Twitter, sharing an emotional message about the post-poll violence in West Bengal. She laments the lack of international media coverage on the atrocities in the state. “Is it a conspiracy theory, or is Hindu blood cheap,” she wonders. The video is still available on her Instagram and Facebook account. “Distressed, beyond words, death of democracy,” she captioned the video on her Insta handle.
No stranger to controversy, Ranaut issued a statement against her ban. “Twitter has only proved my point: they’re Americans & by birth, a white person feels entitled to enslave a brown person, they want to tell you what to think, speak or do. I have many platforms I can use to raise my voice, including my own art in the form of cinema.”
Since the news of her ban on the micro blogging site broke, desk Twiterrati erupted with both messages for and against her. Several celebrities, journalists and politicians accused her of inciting violence and fueling tensions, while her supporters lamented the ban and urged Twitter to remove it. Actresses like Richa Chadha, Swara Bhasker, and others, lauded the ban. Actors Hrithik Roshan and Taapsee Pannu did not tweet about the ban, but many netizens shared memes of them both looking visibly happy. Ranaut has had spats with both actors, both on social media and offline.
Following the Twitter ban, fashion designers Anand Bhushan and Rimzim Dadu announced that they are discontinuing future projects with Ranaut. “In view of certain events today, we have taken a decision to remove all collaboration images with Kangana Ranaut from our social media channels,” Bhushan tweeted.
Without naming anyone, Chadha shared a meme with the text, “Be Yourself. Somewhere Else.” Twitter users were quick to connect the dots. One Ranaut supporter responded: “Kangana’s suspended account is the first wave, she will be back with a new strain in the second wave.” Another one tweeted, “IPL aur Kangana ka account suspend ho gaya, Desh me manoranjan ki bhari kami (IPL and Kangana’s account have been suspended. This will cause major lack of entertainment in the country).”
This January, Ranaut’s Twitter account was temporarily restricted after she posted a tweet against the Amazon series “Tandav,” where she said it was “time to take [the makers’] heads off” for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Last year, Ranaut and her sister were booked by police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to committing malicious or deliberate acts with the intention of outraging religious feelings of citizens, sedition and promoting enmity between different groups through their social media posts.
Actress Swara Bhasker
Actor Gulshan Devaiah
Actress Kubbra Sait
Swati Maliwal, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women
Theory: the real reason #KanganaRanaut was banned from Twitter was for accidentally confessing the #BJP’s real modus operandi.
Kawalpreet Kaur, National VP at All India Students’ Association
Rahul Shivshankar, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now
Khalid Anis Ansari