Kangana Ranaut and the slap-stick quandary

'Welcome to public life, Ms Ranaut, and to the world of slippers, slaps and ink. Welcome also to the reality that sooner or later, your past will catch up with you'

Did Kangana Ranaut, here sword in hand, get a taste of proper martial arts? (photo: @KanganaTeam/X)
Did Kangana Ranaut, here sword in hand, get a taste of proper martial arts? (photo: @KanganaTeam/X)

Avay Shukla

The last fortnight has not been a good one for Himachal's politicians.

The chief minister, Mr Sukhu, lived up to the promise he had shown as a child and lost all four Lok Sabha seats to the BJP.

The late chief minister Raja Virbhadra's son, Vikramaditya Singh, will never be able to show his face in royal circles again, having lost miserably to a far-from-common commoner in the Mandi seat.

Mr Anurag Thakur of the BJP has been divested of his central ministership. There is some speculation that the always-smiling Mr J.P. Nadda may have had something to do with it: he first moth-balled the father, and now the son.

That now leaves only the Holy Ghost, the banarsi pan(jandrum), he of the Immaculate Conception, to deal with. As someone sang, to everything there is a time...

And finally, the Himachal-ki-beti Kangana Ranaut was slapped in the geezer by a lady constable of the CISF (Central Industrial Slapping Force). (This, of course, solves the mystery of the recent deployment of the CISF for Parliament security — perhaps the stigmata on Ms Ranaut's flaming cheek is a dress rehearsal of what Opposition MPs can expect from the CISF chappies in Parliament.

Of course, Ms Ranaut herself is now safe — a lawyer friend tells me that slapping her again would amount to res judicata or 'double jeopardy', and would therefore not be allowed by My Lords if they ever return from their vacations. 

Coming back to the slapping, however, I feel a disclaimer is in order here: I abhor violence and do not condone it, except when it is inflicted on people I don't like.

I do not dislike Ms Ranaut — how can the male of any species except perhaps the Streptococcus? — but I do disapprove of many of her utterances and the ideas she stands for.

She is a loudmouth and a motormouth whose natural instinct is to insult and abuse, like she did all those women at the farmers' protest. The CISF constable, Kulwinder Kaur, is the daughter of one of these women, and belongs to a proud community which does not believe in turning the other cheek — as Ms Ranaut's own flaming cheeks bear testimony.

To put it bluntly: Ms Ranaut was asking for it and got what was due to her. If you want to lie down with dogs, expect to be bitten by a few ticks and fleas.

But she has her defenders: How can a person in uniform slap a woman, they shout from their majoritarian ramparts.

Really? What have persons in uniform not done to their countrymen under the orders of this regime to which the lady from Mandi owes her allegiance? Have they not dragged women wrestlers (champions all) on the roads of Delhi and roughed them up while in uniform? Have they not burnt at midnight (without the consent of her parents) the corpse of a young Dalit girl, raped and killed by upper-caste men, while in uniform? Have they not barged into the hostels and libraries of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Milia and mercilessly beaten students of both sexes without any reason, while in uniform? Have they not stood by and watched, for almost a year now, the atrocities being committed on the women of Manipur, while in uniform? Did not a railway policeman, while in uniform,  walk through a train coach, shooting members of a particular community with impunity?

Please, all ye bhakts of various shades of saffron, spare us this drivel about uniforms. In the India of today, a uniform is not a symbol of lawful forbearance, as it should be. It is a licence for excess, accompanied by the Supreme Leader's guarantee of complete immunity from the law.

So what type of clothes Kulwinder Kaur was wearing when she planted the Congress symbol on Ms Ranaut's cheek is quite beside the point.

Welcome to public life, Ms Ranaut, and to the world of slippers, slaps and ink — just ask Mr. Kejriwal, who has been slapped more times in public than by his mother as a child.

Welcome also to the reality that sooner or later, your past will catch up with you. One cannot make a career of foul-mouthing individuals, abusing communities, vilifying particular religions, indulging in violence of the ideological and verbal kind, and not expect a pushback.

This slapstick episode in which Kangana Ranaut plays the lead role has many subtle nuances, and all those who condemn Kulwinder Kaur without acknowledging these nuances are just being hypocritical and politically correct.

Adopting a politically correct stance is the laziest response to a controversial situation. And, as Harry Truman so correctly remarked, political correctness is nothing but the deluded belief that it is possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.

Good luck, folks, in finding the right end!

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