When the whole Priyanka Chopra fiasco happened early in August, I was perplexed as to why it is even getting any attention at all.
That is how trivial and irrelevant it all seemed to me.
However, somehow it never really died down, even almost 12 days after it all happened it is still going on and on.
From a random beauty conference to social media uproar to demands for Chopra to be removed from her position as UN Peace Ambassador, the entire issue went through many ups and downs.
But now with the UN having finally given their opinion on this whole controversy, maybe finally it all can die the death it should have died long back.
For the uninitiated, here is a basic timeline of everything that went down and maybe will highlight how utterly nonsensical this whole situation really was.
#1. The BeautyCon Row
On 11th August, Priyanka Chopra attended a beauty conference called BeautyCon in the US where she was taking some audience Q&A (question and answer).
It was then that Ayesha Malik, went up to ask Chopra about a tweet she had made in February that said ‘Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces.’
Ayesha said, “So it was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity, because as your neighbor, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite, because you tweeted on February 26, ‘Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces.'”
She then continued to say that
“You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There’s no winner in this.”
Her last statement before her mic was taken away was
“As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood and you wanted nuclear war.”
To this Priyanka replied that
“Whenever you’re done venting … got it, done? Okay, cool… so, I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India, and war is not something that I am really fond of but I am patriotic, so, I’m sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me, but I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well.”
She finished by commenting “The way you came at me right now? Girl, don’t yell. We’re all here for love. Don’t yell. Don’t embarrass yourself. But we all walk that middle ground, but thank you for your enthusiasm and your question and your voice.”
To be honest, here Ayesha was not really yelling just replying to Chopra about how she loved India as much as Pakistan.
“Whenever you’re don’t venting”. Sorry, didn’t realize that speaking on a humanitarian crisis was “venting” pic.twitter.com/OqCLgjDNa1— Ayesha Malik (@Spishaa) August 11, 2019
When Priyanka was completing her answer, Ayesha in a last ditch attempt shouted that,
“You can’t be a hypocrite and a UNICEF ambassador.”
While I will say that Priyanka could have handled the situation better and given a more professional answer instead of getting all sarcastic, even the other girl’s intentions were not all that correct.
Using ‘hypocrite’ in the very first line knowing it would catch attention and then implying that her tweet was asking for nuclear war was too much of a stretch.
Ayesha on her part could have also better worded her question and not gone on to attack the person on stage right from her first line. Also the constant repetition of Priyanka being a UN ambassador was puzzling to me. One doesn’t have to be in such a position to be asked about controversial stuff they might have done.
#2. The Tweet
Frankly, when you realise the tweet Ayesha mentioned, it all seems quite silly overall.
This was the tweet that was in question and apparently was made after India carried out airstrikes in allegedly terrorist camp of Pakistan in Balakot.
These airstrikes came in the wake of the Pulwama attacks that happened on 14th February 2019. A convoy of vehicles that were carrying security personnel on a highway in Jammu Kashmir was attacked by a suicide bomber.
The attack lead to deaths of 46 CRPF personnel and Indian authorities believed that Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed was the cause of the attack.
#3. Support From Bollywood
Priyanka while getting bashed and supported on social media found some comfort in her own Bollywood peers.
Actors like Kangana Ranaut and Ayushmann Khurrana both came forward to support her in this time.
Khurrana at an event stated that, “Priyanka Chopra is representing our country very well. She is not an Indian icon, but a global icon. Being a daughter of an army officer she is a good representative of India.”
While Kangana stated to ANI that, “It’s not an easy choice to make… when you are stuck between your duty and your emotions, being a UNICEF goodwill ambassador sure you can’t limit your identity to one nation, but how many of us choose heart over mind every day?”
Even director Madhur Bhandarkar commented, “Priyanka is an Indian, and there’s nothing wrong in praising our country… or wishing the Armed Forces.”
#4. Support From UN
While this whole thing was going down, many people online started petitions asking that Priyanka be removed as the UN Peace Ambassador.
In fact, the Human Rights Minister of Pakistan, Shireen Mazari, even sent a letter to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore demanding that Chopra be removed from her position immediately.
As per the letter, Mazari alleged that Priyanka was showing “support for war, including a nuclear war.”
The letter read, “Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally.”
Sent letter to UNICEF chief regarding UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace Ms Chopra pic.twitter.com/PQ3vwYjTVz— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) August 21, 2019
The UN has finally responded to all this on Thursday with the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, commenting that, “I can tell you that for any Goodwill Ambassador, whether it is Ms Chopra or anyone else, we expect them to adhere to impartial positions when they speak on behalf of Unicef or any other organisation when they speak in their personal capacity.”
He further added that, “They (ambassadors) retain the right to speak about issues of interest or concern to them. their personal views, however, do not reflect those of the agency with which they may be affiliated with.”
Hopefully, this should cap the controversy and Pakistan’s desire of getting PC removed as UN Peace Ambassador.
Image Credits: Google Images
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