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“Perhaps Mamta Bannerjee  Feels Rape Is A Political Issue,” Roopa Ganguly 

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 Roopa Ganguly Is Unapologetic About Her Rape Comment

Actress turned  BJP politician Roopa Ganguly’s life is in danger.She has for some time, been taking on Bengal’s Mamta Bannerjee government specially on the issue of the safety of women.

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Roopa’s latest salvo on the issue of women’s safety has created  more rage than  outrage among Trinamool Congress ranks .

Said Roopa, “I dare all the parties, the ones who keep flattering the West Bengal government and the Congress, to send their daughters, sisters-in-law, wives to Bengal, without taking any hospitality fromMamata Banerjee. If they are able to survive there for 15 days without getting raped, then tell me.”

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Trinamool leader Sovandev Chattopadhyay was quick to retaliate  saying, “First of all, she should say how many times she has been raped in Bengal. Before accusing anything or anyone, she should reveal this. Then only the truth behind her statement will be realized.”

Now Roopa is being hounded with insults and the imminent danger of physical assault.

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But when I spoke to her she was unrepentant fearless and on the way to Raiganj in the interiors of Bengal to attend a rally for a rape victim.

“The gentleman from  Mamataji’s party who wanted to know  how many times I’ve been raped in Bengal is a nice man. He  was only trying to please his party’s high command.And even the woman who was the chairperson of the Women’s Commission….she would obviously like her tenure to be extended by Mamataji’s government, so she spoke against me.Anyone in Bengal who speaks against the Trinamool’s doings is an enemy. But even Mamtaji would react to the rising statistics of crime  and rape against women with the same horror as I did, if she’s stop being  a politician protecting her position to  look at the problem as a woman. As for me, I am not afraid of being abused or beaten,” says Roopa who continues to travel  into the interiors of Bengal unescorted.

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Says Roopa, “I’ve been assaulted, brutally hit  by Trinamool goons. There have been as many as 16-17 men assaulting me while three women have pinned me down so I couldn’t move. I’ve stood there feeling hard blows on my back and elsewhere. It’s not  a pleasant situation to be in. And no woman, or for that matter man, would like to be humiliated and brutalized in this way. But I am not giving up. I will address myself to the plight of the unprivileged Bengali woman  who is under threat constantly.”

It bothers  Roopa that rape is being made a political issue.  “Rape and the safety of women should  concern every right-thinking person. It should be above all party ranks and political issues  and also above state-level politics. I am appalled that  I am being questioned as a  BJP politician about rape cases in  BJP-run states. What do they mean by asking me, ‘What  about the rape in BJP states?’ A rape is a rape in any state.Instead of calling me names everybody in Bengal should be concerned about the rising crime against women in the State. Even as I made that statement on no woman being safe in Bengal, an 8-year old girl was raped as I spoke. There were 34,000 cases of atrocities against women reported during the last year. It shames me and shocks me that we politicize the issue of safety of woman.”

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To what does Roopa attribute the rising crime rate against women in Bengal.

“Unemployment,” comes the immediate reply. “The men  are jobless. The women they want to marry don’t want to be married to men without financial security. In frustration and rage they become predators.”

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Roopa says her intrepid pronouncements on the law-and-order situation in Bengal has made her a  sitting target for attack. “I am called a mad woman  because I  speak for all  those women who do not have a voice in Bengal. There are numerous FIRs and cases against me. I am threatened all the time. Do I fear for my life? No. If I did I’d sit at home and not go out to meet another rape victim . As for my security , I don’t have any.What can a few security guards do to protect when I am attacked by dozens of goons?”

About the life she has chosen for herself Roopa has no regrets.

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“The day I decided to get into politics I gave up my acting career completely. I had  three films on the floors when I  decided to devote myself to politics. I quickly  completed those films and …here I am,” says the brilliant actress who once regaled the nation as Draupadi in B R Chopra’s serial on the Mahabarat and  also gave stunning performances in films like Aparna Sen’s Yugant, Goutam Ghose’s Padma Nadir Majhi  and Rituparno Ghosh’s Antar Mahal .

Roopa  says her  husband and family are fully supportive of her political career.

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“They don’t stand with me when I am being showered with blows. But they are with me all the way and they don’t hesitate in correcting me when I am going wrong. I just hope Bengal would awake to the growing crime rate against women before it’s too late,” ends Roopaas she boards her flight  to meet one more rape victim.

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Pathaan

Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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