Sonam Kapoor has been in several run-ins with trolls online. While some of them have been for her views as a feminist, this time around, Twitter trolls are attacking her for something that seems quite unreasonable. Sonam spoke to the BBC Asian Network, a clip of which was posted on their official Twitter handle on August 15. However, it caught the attention of trolls only a few hours ago, and the actress has been trending on Twitter for the past couple of hours.
Sonam, when asked about the Kashmir conflict after the nullification of Article 370, said that she can ‘give an opinion’ only when she has ‘the complete information’. But trolls left no stone unturned in attacking her for her ‘views’ on Article 370, adn for saying that her family has strong links with Pakistan.
In the video, Sonam says, “So for me now, I think it’s better to keep quiet and let this pass, because this too should pass… and I think our countries were one country 70 years ago, and the fact that there is so much divisive politics at play is really heartbreaking.”
Sonam also said that she is upset at Pakistan banning all Indian films, a decision that the Pakistan government took as part of snapping all diplomatic and cultural ties with India in retaliation to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sonam says in the video, “As an artist, you want to be represented everywhere and you want your work to be shown everywhere. Neerja wasn’t shown in Pakistan even though it was a true story, because the plane (Pan Am Flight 73) landed in Karachi and the hijack took place in Karachi and it [Neerja, the biopic on the life of air hostess Neerja Bhanot] didn’t in anyway show Pakistan in a negative light at all. But the fact that they didn’t show the film there was really heartbreaking for me. I have a huge Pakistani following and my two best friends, they are Muslims and half-Pakistani.”
In 2016, a few days after the release of Neerja, Sonam told IndiaToday.in that she was ‘very very disheartened’ at the ban on her film in Pakistan.
“This film is about humanity, it is about Neerja not discriminating anyone, and just saving anybody and everybody because she believed in humanity. I feel it’s so sad that Pakistan is not showing the film. We are very very disheartened, because there is nothing in the film that depicts Pakistan in a way which is derogatory, or in a bad light. Before India or America awarded Neerja, Pakistan, 30 years ago, awarded Neerja with the Tamgha-e-Insaniyat for incredible human kindness,” said Sonam Kapoor.
In the video from BBC Asian Network, Sonam also spoke about the Kashmir conflict and Article 370. The actress said that she did not fully understand the situation.
“I think it’s very complicated and I don’t understand it as much because there is so much contrasting news, contrary news, everywhere, so I don’t really know what the truth is. I believe in having a peaceful discourse and understanding of what’s going on. So when I have the complete information is when I can give an opinion,” says the Neerja actress.
Sonam goes on to say that her family has strong links to Pakistan.
“I am half-Sindhi and Half-Peshawari, so it’s heartbreaking to see that part of my culture is something that I can’t explore as well because of that [the conflict],” says Sonam.
“My name is Sonam. I was named when my parents went to Kashmir and were there for a while. They were shooting for Ram Lakhan – my dad was shooting for that, and they decided to name me from there. I haven’t been [to the Valley] since then because of the unrest. I hope there is a peaceful way of working things out. I don’t know how that’s possible, but I think there should be, because it’s a beautiful place but I think it’s been under so much duress, and I don’t think anybody knows who’s right now. I don’t think they themselves know who is right,” the actress says in the interview.
Sonam saying that her family has strong links to Pakistan has got many netizens irked. While some people resorted to downright abuse, others raked up Sonam’s comments on Pakistani artistes from the past.
“She is leftist.. she always supported Pakistanis and Pakistani artists on the cost of Indian Artist and Actors.. Shame on her..” wrote a Twitter user.
“How stupid. She says she couldn’t visit Kashmir due to the issues there. I went to Kashmir in this July just before the abrogation of article 370. Tourism was always there and was never an issue for tourists,” wrote another user.
Sonam Kapoor took to Twitter to hit back at trolls who have been attacking her for her words on Kashmir, Pakistan and Article 370.
“Guys please calm down.. and get a life. Twisting, misinterpreting and understanding what you want from what someone has to say isn’t a reflection on the person who says it but on you. So self reflect and see who you are and hopefully get a job,” wrote the actress.
BBC was also on the receiving end of much hate online for speaking to Sonam on Kashmir.
On August 5, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the nullification of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Following the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country on the development in Jammu and Kashmir. Modi, in his speech, urged Bollywood and other film industries to shoot in Kashmir and set up studios there.