Twitter suspended controversial Hindi actor Kangana Ranaut’s account on the platform on Tuesday, following her recent tweets on the aftermath of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly elections.
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. The referenced account has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of Twitter Rules specifically our Hateful Conduct policy and Abusive Behaviour policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told ANI.
On Sunday, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won for the third consecutive time by a historic majority of 213 seats compared to BJP’s 77 seats in West Bengal. Elections were being bitterly fought in the state with the saffron party vying to wrest control from Banerjee. After the Trinamool Congress’ resounding success, there were several reports of political violence across the state. The BJP alleged that Trinamool workers have been assaulting their party workers and vandalising party offices. However, some of the incidents of political violence have been declared as fake news by the West Bengal Police.
In a series of tweets before her account was suspended, Ranaut tweeted her reaction on the violence urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take action by implementing Governor’s Rule or emergency in Bengal and “tame” Banerjee.
“Decisive actions are needed and blood thirsty tadka need to be tamed, we need to protect nationalism in Bengal #BengalBurning #BengalViolence,” read one of her tweets that is not retrievable now.
In another tweet, Ranaut wrote: “Bangladeshi’s and Rohingyas are biggest strength of Mamata…. with the way trend is looking shows Hindus are no more majority there, and according to the data Bangali Muslims are the poorest and most deprived in whole India, good another Kashmir in the making…”
“BJP has shown remarkable growth in #Bengal in 2016 they won 3 seats, growth is 2800 percent, need of the hour is NRC and CAA, in Bengal minority is majority now, nevertheless with the kind of ferocious passion and dedication Modi ji and Amit ji do their work is beyond admirable,” she said in another post,” another tweet read.
On Monday, Kolkata-based advocate Sumeet Chowdhury filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, against Ranaut for instigating “hatred” among communities based on the above-mentioned tweets.
Chowdhury also mentioned a third tweet the actor made during the counting of the election results where she addressed Modi as a “Lion” and Bengalis as “Hyena” and posted a video of “ugly looking hyenas attacking a single lion”.
Agitated with Ranaut demeaning and insulting Bengalis, Bangladeshi migrants, both Hindus and Muslims that felt personal to advocate Chowdhary as his mother and her family is a migrant who came to India during partition, he was compelled to file a complaint against Ranaut.
Chowdhury, who is the same advocate based on whose complaint the Kolkata Magistrate Metropolitan Court had issued an arrest warrant against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Hindu-Pakistan’ tweet in 2019, said that “she (Ranaut) needs to be stopped”.
Mentioning “murders taking place” post the election results referring to a Muslim friend of his who has been murdered, Chowdhary said “Bengal is volatile” and at this point of time, Ranaut’s tweets are “flaming the fire” by pointing to the exodus of Hindus that took place in Kashmir. He is “confident that the Police Commission will take action against her because now Twitter has taken cognisance, but in case they don’t I am a lawyer and I will approach the higher court, file an FIR under section 156, under the provision of law.”
Ranaut posted a video on Instagram a few minutes before getting suspended on Twitter where she spoke about “death of democracy”, and urged Prime Minister Modi to implement the President’s Rule in West Bengal like “Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh did”. She blamed the “liberal” international media including BBC, Guardian, Times and others for not speaking up about the violence in Bengal.
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Reacting to her account getting suspended, Ranaut told ANI: “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.
Ranaut also shared the ANI tweets on her Instagram story and wrote: “My Twitter account was suspended right after I posted a video on Twitter demanding president rule to stop Genocide in Bengal.”
“There are multiple FIR’s filed on my in Bengal yesterday this is the secular India they want to sell you where Hindu’s and their voices are butchered,” she wrote in another Instagram story.
Following Ranaut’s Twitter suspension, designers Anand Bhushan and Rimzim Dadu issued statements that they boycott Ranaut, remove any posts of past collaborations from all social media and “pledged” to never engage with her in future.
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“Never too late to do the right thing! We are removing all posts of past collaborations with Kangana Ranaut from our social channels and pledge to not engage in any future association with her,” wrote Dadu on his Instagram story while sharing a picture of the actor in his designed attire.
Kangana’s sister Rangoli R Chandel took to her Instagram and announced that she will sue Bhushan claiming he is a “small time designer” who is using “India’s top actress name” to promote himself. She wrote that Bhushan will have to prove the actor’s endorsements with the designer while denying the same. Soon Bhushan replied with a picture of Ranaut and her sister wearing his design featured on the front page of FEMINA magazine.