Protests in Spiti Valley Against Bollywood Actress Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress and BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut faced significant protests from the Buddhist community during her campaign trail in Spiti Valley. On Monday, large numbers of protestors in Kaza, carrying black flags, demonstrated against Ranaut, shouting slogans such as “Kangana go back” and expressing their anger towards her recent actions on social media.

The root of the controversy stems from a meme shared by Kangana on social media, depicting Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in a negative light, appearing to kiss U.S. President Joe Biden. This post has deeply offended the Buddhist community, who revere the Dalai Lama. The protestors, hurt by this portrayal, took to the streets to voice their grievances, turning the peaceful town of Kaza into a hub of unrest. Additionally, Kangana’s public admission of consuming beef has further inflamed the community, given the sacred status of cows in many Indian cultures and particularly sensitive religious sentiments in the region.

This incident in Spiti Valley is not an isolated one. Kangana has previously faced backlash for the same meme in Mumbai, where protestors staged a dharna outside her office. Despite these confrontations, Kangana met with the Dalai Lama and claimed to respect and believe in the teachings of Lord Buddha, attempting to mitigate the outrage caused by her actions.

During her canvassing in Kaza on Monday, Kangana tried to appeal to the local populace by praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts in the development of border areas. In an official press release, Kangana lauded Modi for his work, stating, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has played an important role in the development of border areas. In the last ten years, the central government has tried to touch every aspect to make life easier in border areas. Today, Draupadi Murmu is the pride of the tribal society as the President. This has been possible only due to the foresight of the Prime Minister.”

Kangana also attacked her political rival, Vikramaditya Singh, accusing him of being corrupt and noting his involvement with the Enforcement Directorate (ED). She further criticized Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, albeit with a slip of the tongue, incorrectly stating his movements post-election before correcting herself.

The protests highlight the deep-seated discontent within the Buddhist community towards Kangana’s actions, reflecting broader issues of cultural sensitivity and the impact of public figures’ statements on local sentiments. As Kangana continues her campaign, navigating these tensions will be crucial for her political aspirations in the region.

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