Kangana Ranaut slap controversy: Who is the bigger heroine?

Security system at airports will collapse if cops try to fix celebs they don't like

Suspended woman constable of the CISF Kulwinder Kaur suddenly became heroine no.1 in the eyes of millions. It was alleged that she had slapped controversial real life heroine Kangana Ranaut, the newly minted Lok Sabha MP from Mandi, at the security-check area inside Chandigarh airport. The video of the incident went viral as divided opinions jammed social media, with supporters of both women pitching in.

Kaur, according to her seniors, has not faced any inquiry or punishment earlier. She joined the CISF in 2009, and has been posted at Chandigarh airport since 2021. Her husband is posted there as well. The couple has two children. Kaur comes from a family of farmers, and her brother, Sher Singh, is a farmer leader. The attack on Ranaut, Kaur said, was provoked by Ranaut’s derogatory remarks during the farmer protest against the now-scrapped farm laws. Particularly, Ranaut’s comment that female protestors were paid Rs100 to sit there. Kaur’s mother was one of the women.

Ranaut is reveling in her hour of glory. But Kaur has been suspended, arrested and is facing a police case. In short—it was a very, very ill-timed and expensive attack which has cost Kaur a great deal, while Ranaut has walked away after posting a video of the attack, where she assured her fans that she was “safe”.

Kulwinder Kaur and Kangana Ranaut | PTI Kulwinder Kaur and Kangana Ranaut | PTI

Nobody so far has actually seen the footage of the slap—assuming the slap was delivered in the first place. If the footage exists, it is imperative to share it. Kaur has everything to lose. She has a great deal at stake. Did she or didn’t she slap Ranaut? Nobody can justify or condone the unpardonable attack by a cop in uniform, on government duty. Regardless of whether Kaur actually slapped Ranaut or merely pushed her roughly, the fact is, an ugly fracas took place in a public area and was witnessed by many. Kaur was definitely out of line and has broken the law.

Why then is she being hailed as a hero?

Several prominent people have rushed to defend Kaur. The film industry is divided on this matter, and most have opted to keep silent. Those who have defended Ranaut are mainly known BJP supporters. By and large, Bollywood stays out of political matters, fearing retribution. In Ranaut’s case, the polarisation of sentiment is not based on just political affiliations—it is more personal. Ranaut has been ostracised by colleagues ever since she uttered the one word Bollywood hates—nepotism—on a popular TV show. There’s hardly any mainstream actor, producer or director ready to work with the fiery Kangana.

Two important issues are getting mixed up in this slapgate. Does a cop have the right to assault a citizen, no matter what grudge he or she holds against the person? The answer is no. The entire security system at airports will collapse if cops arbitrarily decide to fix celebrities whose views they dislike. Does Ranaut have the right to express offensive opinions? Yes, absolutely. Kaur acted on her personal animosity. But she cannot take law into her own hands because of her suppressed rage. Ranaut is known to make the most outrageous comments on sensitive issues. But, henceforth, she needs to be doubly sensitive towards public opinion and not abuse her position and privileges. If citizens are backing Kaur and expressing concern about her future, it is largely because Ranaut’s conduct has antagonised millions. Kaur is not remotely as entitled or privileged. Her reputation and livelihood are seriously dented. Soon, people will forget Kaur and the so-called slap, that may or may not have happened. So… who’s the bigger heroine of this saga—Ranaut or Kaur?