Kangana ‘slapgate’: Politicians, farm leaders must exercise restraint - The Tribune India

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Kangana ‘slapgate’

Politicians, farm leaders must exercise restraint

Kangana ‘slapgate’


THE farmers’ agitation of 2020-21 continues to be an emotive issue in Punjab, going by the ugly episode involving newly elected BJP MP Kangana Ranaut and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable Kulwinder Kaur. The latter slapped the actor-turned-politician at the Chandigarh airport last week. This was apparently in retaliation for some controversial statements by Kangana, who had claimed that farmers were being paid as low as Rs 100 or Rs 200 to protest at Delhi’s borders. The film star had also mocked the women who were part of the historic stir. Kulwinder’s mother was presumably among the protesters who had laid siege to Delhi for a year over the three Central farm laws. These were eventually repealed, but not before 700-odd agitators lost their lives.

Some farmers’ outfits have rallied round the suspended constable, saying that the incident needs to be thoroughly investigated, even as a CISF officer has stated that the suspect probably acted in a rush of blood. Kulwinder is receiving a groundswell of support on social media, while Kangana also has her fair share of backers, including fellow celebrities who have denounced the use of violence to express anger. True to form, she has voiced her concern over the ‘shocking rise in terror and violence in Punjab’.

The deplorable incident is symptomatic of the anti-BJP sentiment in the rural belt of the border state. Party candidates and campaigners were shown black flags and prevented from entering villages during the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. The BJP’s poll debacle in Punjab was attributed to the prolonged standoff between the state’s farming community and the Modi government. A new flashpoint emerged this year when the protesting farmers’ Dilli Chalo march was brutally stalled. Amid the prevailing acrimony, it is imperative for both politicians and farm leaders to exercise restraint and avoid provocative remarks. A return to the negotiating table would be in order to defuse tensions.

#BJP #Kangana Ranaut


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