Twitter permanently suspends Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut over ‘hateful’ posts

Actor asks PM Narendra Modi to ‘tame’ West Bengal opposition, leading to accusations of inciting violence

Peony Hirwani
Tuesday 04 May 2021 12:03
<p>File image: Kangana Ranaut attends the screening of ‘Ash Is The Purest White’ during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival</p>

File image: Kangana Ranaut attends the screening of ‘Ash Is The Purest White’ during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival

Twitter has permanently suspended the Indian actor Kangana Ranaut’s account after it said she repeatedly violated its rules on “hateful conduct” and “abusive behaviour”.

Ranaut, a high-profile Bollywood star who is also well-known for her right wing opinions on social media, had tweeted about claims that an opposition party was taking revenge on supporters of Narendra Modi’s BJP after defeating it in the state election in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee’s TMC has denied the allegations.

Replying to a tweet about the “alarming situation” in West Bengal, Ranaut wrote that the national ruling party should resort to gangster tactics to “tame” Ms Banerjee.

Critics found a call in Ranaut’s tweet for a return to Mr Modi’s “viraat roop... from early 2000s” particularly disturbing. A reference to a show of divine force in Hindu mythology, the phrase was interpreted by some as calling for a repeat of the 2002 Gujarat riots, when thousands of Muslims were killed in religious riots in the state when Mr Modi was chief minister.

A Twitter spokesperson said: “We’ve been clear that we’ll take strong enforcement action on behaviour that has the potential to lead to offline harm. The account (Ranaut’s) has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of Twitter Rules specifically our Hateful Conduct policy & Abusive Behaviour policy.”

The actor has since responded by saying she has “many platforms” through which to express her views, speaking again about the “disturbing news, photos and videos coming out of Bengal”.

Monday saw post-election clashes in several parts of West Bengal, with at least six deaths reported in total. The TMC party said three of its workers were killed by BJP members, a claim which was also denied.

While the facts on the ground remained unclear, Ranaut claimed there was a “conspiracy” not to report on the situation. ““No liberal is saying anything, including international media like BBC World, the Telegraph, The Times, and The Guardian who aren’t covering this issue,” she said.

“Are the anti-nationals going to run this country? Innocent people will be killed and we will just protest.”

The Queen actor concluded by saying: “I want to say to my government, please stop this genocide as soon as possible, and take the strongest step.”

Ranaut also released a separate statement about her Twitter account’s suspension.

She said: “Twitter has only proved my point. They’re Americans and 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.

“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” she added.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments