Kangana Ranaut. Pause. Sigh. Gasp. It was the three-time national award winner's Panga-with-everyone year. And that ensured she was in the limelight almost everywhere, every day.
Kangana started the year on a high with Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's sports drama Panga, but within a few months of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, a full-fledged rollercoaster began - with her tweets, videos and views on almost everything under the sky hogging attention.
What made her the most controversial and most talked-about celebrity on social media in 2020 - we break it down for you.
Sushant Singh Rajput's death and the ‘drug mafia’ in Bollywood
The tragic death of Sushant Singh Rajput led to Kangana setting the house on fire with her statements. Remember the 2017 Koffee with Karan episode with Karan Johar where she called him ‘the flagbearer of nepotism’? This time it was about how she and Sushant were the outsiders persecuted by "Bullywood".
Days after Sushant's death, she posted videos on social media and asked, “He is a rank holder of his engineering college, how can his mind be weak?” before going on to term his death a “planned murder” stemming from the ostracism he faced. All hell broke loose.
Kangana literally seized the baton, banged it on the floor, planting herself as a crusader out to provide justice for Sushant. Even when the AIIMS report ruled out murder, she insisted he was harassed by the Bollywood ‘mafia’.
Later, she tweeted that actors including Ranveer Singh, Vicky Kaushal, Ranbir Kapoor and others should give blood samples to prove that they aren’t addicts. It was as no-holds-barred an attack as that.
Comparing Mumbai with PoK
If that weren't enough, next came her comparison of Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Her comment came after Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut asked her not to come back to the city if she felt unsafe. Protests, condemnations, derogatory remarks and whatnot followed.
Within four days, she was granted Y+ security. But the issue snowballed with the BMC demolishing parts of the actor’s building citing that alterations had been made without the civic body’s approval. After a weeklong standoff with the Shiv Sena, she left for her hometown Manali noting that her analogy about Mumbai being PoK had been “bang on”.
Urmila Matondkar a 'soft porn star'?
The next tempest was unleashed when she branded fellow actor Urmila Matondkar a "soft porn star" in a TV interview. "Urmila is a soft porn star. She is not known for her acting for sure, what is she known for? For doing soft porn, right? If she could get a (election) ticket, why wouldn’t I?" Kangana said.
Brickbats from many in Bollywood ensued. Not to mention the inescapable war of words between the two actresses.
Problematic claims and statements on mental health
There was more of course. 2020 saw Kangana make untrue/misinformed claims on mental health issues. It all began with Sushant Rajput's suicide. Stating that mental health problems didn’t exist, she said, “Truth remains there is no valid medical proof of mental illness…” before going on to contradict her own statements when confronted with facts.
She even said that she feels depression doesn’t lead to suicide. Worse, Kangana ridiculed Actor Deepika Padukone’s struggle with depression saying, “What kind of depression is this that occurs after eight years?”
Very recently, she shamed an illustrator for tweeting about self-harm and made rude statements about her appearance by calling her ‘creepy-looking’ and ‘suicidal’. (So much for calling herself a feminist!)
Her spat with MP Jaya Bachchan
When the BJP's Ravi Kishan agreed with Kangana’s charge that drug addiction is prevalent in the film industry, actor and MP Jaya Bachchan turned furious. “Jis thali mein khate hai usme chhed karte hai. Galat baat hai,” she thundered while referring to a popular Hindi proverb that means to bite the hands that feed you.
These comments did not sit well with Kangana who hit back asking what Jaya ji would have done if her children – Shweta and Abhishek Bachchan – had also faced the same ‘injustice’. What was to irk netizens more was her next comment: “What ‘thali’ is Jaya referring to? The one that was offered was to appear in a two-minute role, a romantic scene, item numbers – and that too after sleeping with the hero?”.
Kangana Ranaut vs Diljt Dosanjh
Finally, came the spat between Kangana and actor and singer Diljit Dosanjh. Twitter was engrossed. So much so that many devoted themselves entirely to interpreting Dosanjh's jibes and comebacks in Punjabi for the masses.
It all began when Kangana deleted a tweet after realising that her allegation that ‘Shaheen Bagh’ dadi Bilkis Bano had joined the farmers’ protest was baseless. When Diljit corrected her, she called him ‘Karan Johar ka paltu'. He, in turn, asked if she was a sycophant of everyone she has worked with.
Yada yada Yada and a series of tweets later, Kangana explained that she has been vocal about farmers' exploitation and their problems while stating that the new agri bills would be beneficial for them. Many celebrities came out in support of ‘Dil-jeet’ (yes, that’s what they called him for winning). As for netizens, they obviously had a field day making hilarious memes.