Priyanka Chopra, Her Nepali-Language Sikkimese Film, And Controversy

Priyanka Chopra, apart from being a Bollywood and Hollywood actor, also is a producer who has produced some regional language films in India so far. After producing a Marathi film ‘Ventilator’ and a Punjabi film ‘Sarvann’; a Nepali-language Sikkimese film is the latest project by her production house Purple Pebble Pictures.

The Quantico actress, who is promoting the Paakhi Tyrewala-directed film at Toronto International Film Festival 2017 where the film recently had its world premiere, has been facing a severe social media backlash after her interview with ET Canada came to light. People have been objecting to her description of Sikkim as insurgency-hit, and of Pahuna being the first film to come out of the state – neither of which is true.

“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”, she is seen stating about the film and Sikkim in the interview.

Chopra, who also is the Ambassador of Assam, is being criticized for her remarks. “Priyanka Chopra is the Ambassador of Assam and calls Sikkim a small state from ‘North East’, troubled with insurgency! Serioulsy, dude?” tweeted a user. “Sikkim is one of the most peaceful states, dear Priyanka. We don’t have any insurgency here. Plz comment responsibly”, another user tweeted.

DNA India had earlier reported that the Sikkim Tourism Ministry was on board as a partner with Chopra’s Pahuna team, as the film revolves around Sikkim and most of the cast and crew hail from the region. But with the recent controversy, the Sikkim Tourism Ministry has reportedly considered giving a grant to the film and demanded an apology from the actress, according to News 18.

Chopra has now apologized to the Sikkim government, while her mother and business partner, Madhu Chopra, spoke with Sikkim Tourism Minister Ugen Gyatso, also extending an apology on the actress’ behalf.

Pahuna – The Little Visitors is a story about three Nepali children who get separated from their parents. The film revolves around their journey of escaping the Maoist agitation in Nepal and then fleeing to Sikkim.

Here’s the controversial interview.


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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