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The Issue is Not About Kangana, It's About 'Godi Media': Urmila

Here's why Urmila Matondkar decided to post a video reacting to Kangana's tweet.

Updated
Celebrities
6 min read

Actor Kangana Ranaut and actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar got into an argument on social media recently after Kangana hinted that Urmila bought an office space for Rs 3 crores in Mumbai after joining Shiv Sena. Urmila hit back with a video message, asking Kangana to reveal the names of people from Bollywood industry she wanted to report to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

In an exclusive chat with The Quint, Urmila said why she chose to respond to Kangana in the first place and why she didn't reach out to her privately.

Kangana tweet on Urmila Matondkar.
Kangana tweet on Urmila Matondkar.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)
Urmila hits back at Kangana.
Urmila hits back at Kangana.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Kangana Ranaut made a veiled tweet about you buying an office space for Rs 3 crores after joining the Shiv Sena and you responded with a video message. Many might feel that there is no need for you to clarify. So why did you feel the need to respond to Kangana?

Urmila Matondkar: You are very right. Let me start from the very beginning. The issue has become about her tweet, when in fact the issue is actually about the 'Godi media' who carried the story of me buying an office space worth Rs 3 crores. The report cited sources claiming I was not available for a comment, whereas I have the screenshot of the reporter calling me at 9pm on Saturday night when the story is supposed to be published on Sunday morning. By the time I responded I was told it was too late and the news has already gone for printing. The amount I bought the office space for was the headline, which was really not needed. Then other publications picked it up. And after that the tweet that she (Kangana) put up was extremely humiliating, and she has done it in the past too. The 20-25 cases she was talking about is not because she was trying to, in her words, "please BJP" but it is because she was spreading venom about people who have now reacted to that. I would have also let it go had it not been a direct attack. How is it fair that your efforts are efforts and everyone else's is nonsense?

IT trolls pick up these kinds of tweets and then go berserk. Unfortunately, in this country the media is completely sold. Even the last time when I had done an interview, my only issue was not her but where we are standing as a country and where the fourth pillar of democracy is standing. Are they going to be making this particular lady the barometer of the country? That's why it was necessary for me to put a stop to it and also bring people's attention to the fact that she has been provided Y-plus security with our money. It's a lot of money. If she claims to be at the top of her game don't you think she should be paying for her own security? Don't you think as citizen of the country we should be asking this question? And where is that list on the basis of which this security was given to her?

While responding to one of the Twitter users Kangana said, “Where was your feminism when Urmila called me a 'prostitute' and 'rudaali'"? And then Kangana went on to call you a 'soft porn-star'. Do you think even if there is a conflict or disagreement, the usage of words could be more civil?

Urmila Matondkar: My husband asked me, 'Did you say that she is doing this to get a BJP ticket?' I told him 'If you can show me that I have used her name and BJP in the same line, I'll leave this country'. I have not mentioned BJP in any of my interviews because it wasn't a BJP-bashing interview. And 'prostitute'? I don't think I can call anyone anything like that in my whole life. And when I called her 'rudaali' it was in a particular context, and 'rudaali' is not an abuse or a derogatory word. She called me a 'soft porn star' on national television and when she said it the anchor had a glee on her face. And in the meantime on other channels, I was complimenting her for her acting skills. Nowhere have I ever used derogatory terms for her.

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In your video you have challenged Kangana Ranaut to reveal the names of stars she wanted to report to the NCB. You have been part of the film industry for so long...what do you make of the allegations of drug use and supply that's being made against the industry?

Urmila Matondkar: The same industry for whom the Prime Minister of the country sends a chartered flight and meets them to spread Mahatma Gandhi's message in the society and asks for their help, how does it become a shady industry?

When the Chief Minister of the biggest state comes to Mumbai and wants to take Bollywood to Uttar Pradesh, maybe his spokesperson didn't tell him that it's a shady industry. I am not saying it's all clean and nobody does anything but again for your little personal vendetta to constantly keep calling people names... you have a problem with four people, but the industry has 25 to 35 lakh people working in it. It is one of the largest industries in the world. So let us not make it about those four or five people who she has an issue with. For that you can't possibly bring the entire industry down. Are you trying to tell me that everybody in the industry, from morning till night, are only on drugs? It's such a hardworking industry. With so many brilliant technicians, cinematographers to screenplay writers to actors everybody puts in lot of hard work and lives a regimented life. So my only thing is, yes, like a lot of industries there are problems to an extent. That needs to be worked on. That is why I said if you have claimed to have these names you need to give it to the NCB so that they can do their work.

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This public spat between you and Kangana has been making headlines for months now. Have you tried to end this privately?

Urmila Matondkar: No, I still have nothing against her. So what is it that I am going to go and tell her? And I don't think that would end like that in any case because she has her own reason for doing whatever she is doing. How is it going to end?

Do you feel the razing of a part of Kangana's office was politically motivated?

Urmila Matondkar: No. The timing of it was wrong but let us face it that there were civil rules that were broken. It happens everywhere all the time. So the timing of it went really wrong and I wish it had happened at a better time and probably when she was present in Mumbai.

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As a resident of Mumbai, what did you feel when Kangana Ranaut compared Mumbai to Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir?

Urmila Matondkar: I was completely broken and so were many people. I mean - what was that statement? A city that has given name, fame, money to so many of them in every possible field. There are so many people who have come from all over the country and made this city their home. Including she herself. What was she doing in the city for so long if it was all these things? It was completely disheartening and saddening to see that just for a tiny little political vendetta a city, its people, culture was being shamed.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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