Our very own ‘Desi girl’ has managed to grab headlines not just in India but across the world and it isn’t just about walking the red carpets or her appearances at award shows, anymore. Priyanka Chopra is making sure that she uses her power as a global star for the benefit of the society by urging the global community to come forward and help those who are in dire need.
Adding to her list of achievements, PeeCee recently got behind the production wheel of ‘Pahuna – The Little Visitors’ that even received a standing ovation at Toronto International Film Festival 2017.
‘Pahuna’, which is considered India’s first film in Sikkimese language, talks about the insurgency that forces people in a Nepalese village to flee to Sikkim. It’s the story of three children facing extraordinary circumstances.
© Purple Pebble Pictures
Though the movie is being critically acclaimed, an interview about it has landed Priyanka in a major controversy. In an interview with an international entertainment website, Priyanka made some comments about the state of Sikkim which paint a rather false image about the conditions in the state. She said, “This is a Sikkimese film. Sikkim is a small state in the North East of India which never had a film industry or anyone who made films from there. And this is the first film ever that’s come out of that region because it’s very troubled with insurgency and troubling situations. I’m very excited,” Priyanka said.
She further talked about the movie’s theme, “This is a film about two kids and their perspective on the refugee crisis, on being moved from one place to another without understanding why they’re suddenly packing bags and leaving. So it speaks about all of that with kids’ perspective.”
Here’s the interview:
But after Twitter and rest of the world lashed out at her, PC has finally apologized to the Sikkim government, while her mother Madhu Chopra spoke to Ugen Gyatso, the tourism minister of Sikkim to apologise for the comment.
Gyatso sought an apology from the actor for her irresponsible remarks, and here’s a copy of Priyanka’s apology:
“I’m sorry I have to write to you under these circumstances.. but I needed to clarify my stance in regards to the situation which has arisen due to a comment of mine during an interview for my film Pahuna, which was misunderstood.
As you are aware, I hold the Government and the people of Sikkim in high regard and have in addition to Pahuna been looking to tell more great stories from Sikkim.
From the moment I heard the script of Pahuna, I knew I wanted to share this story with the world. It is important to me because no one else was willing to take a chance on a film like this, that deals with the refugee crises which is an issue that is being dealt with across the world as it is being in Sikkim.. Pahuna is a film that brings a message of hope and positivity.
My comment, made during an interview at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival 2017, where Pahuna made its worldwide debut, was misconstrued. I was talking about the Sikkimese film industry and also the subject of the film, where I mentioned how Sikkim was grappling with the refugee situation caused by insurgencies.. I had meant by the ‘neighbouring countries’ .. I am fully aware that Sikkim is an incredible host nation (sic) to so many refugees and our film shows exactly that through the children’s point of view…
I understand that the statement I made in the interview was open to interpretation. I should have been clearer with my intention. We’ve made a beautiful film that would not have been possible without the support of the government and people of Sikkim. In no way did I intend to offend or hurt anyone’s sentiments and for that I apologise.
I appreciate all the support you have shown me and my team and I wanted to clear the misunderstanding with you directly.”
Since her statements about Sikkim being a troubled state were inaccurate, Twitter users didn’t spare a moment to bash the actress. The fact that she is the brand ambassador of Assam added fuel to the fire.
While her fans came to her rescue and argued that her messing up like this was a one-time occurrence, people of Sikkim are of the view that if the actress is producing a movie which is meant to release worldwide, the least she could do was get her facts right.
Dear Priyanka Chopra, Sikkim is a peaceful place and #Pahuna is not the first film from the region. Plz get the facts right about NorthEast.
— Biswatosh Sinha (@biswatosh) September 14, 2017
Priyanka Chopra is the Ambassador of Assam and calls Sikkim a small state from ‘north east’, troubled by insurgency ! Seriously, dude?
— Anshu Chhibber (@AnshuChhibber) September 14, 2017
Really embarrassing to hear @priyankachopra speaking nonsense about Sikkim. Rule 1 : Don’t open your mouth if you are ignorant about a topic
— Vishal Tyagi (@vishaltg) September 14, 2017
#priyankachopra your statement on Sikkim justifies that beauty pageants are all about bikini round and nothing more than an entry to films
— AYUSH SAXENA (@ayush1975) September 14, 2017
@priyankachopra don’t u dare scream discrimination when a white person calls u brown! You dense, ignorant imbecile! Leave #Sikkim alone!
— Shiori æ ž (@Avvan23) September 13, 2017
@priyankachopra Very disappointed that you chose to keep quiet instead of apologising & taking responsibility for your ignorance. #pahuna
— Yanki Doma (@yaaankidoo) September 13, 2017
She’s speaking on a global stage she should atleast get her facts straight. It’s casts a wrong idea for people who’ve never been to Sikkim.
— Yanki Doma (@yaaankidoo) September 14, 2017
Infact it is foolish to create controversy on @priyankachopra’s statement over #Sikkim as Celebs like her are ‘politically illiterate’. 1/2
— Tawqeer Hussain (@tawqeerhussain) September 14, 2017
@priyankachopra If you have no idea about Sikkim, don’t speak about it then. “Big star”
— YESHI DORJEE BHUTIA (@ydbhutia) September 14, 2017
#PriyankaChopra says #Sikkim is a troubled state in interview 2 US media. Pea-sized brain, zero homework. Is this how u make money?
— Indira Laisram (@indira_laisram) September 13, 2017
Our bread and butter is #tourism. Do you know how adversely you have marred it ? Tk responsibility @priyankachopra #sikkim #PriyankaChopra
— zheelspeaks (@zheelspeaks) September 13, 2017
In case you aren’t familiar with what the real conditions in Sikkim are, the state is known for its peace-loving situation and many news reports, in the past, have stated that Sikkim is actually the only state in the North-East that isn’t affected by insurgency.