Actors Kangana Ranaut and Diljit Dosanjh had a heated exchange of words on social media on Thursday.
Actors Kangana Ranaut and Diljit Dosanjh had a heated exchange of words on social media on Thursday.

Diljit Dosanjh vs Kangana Ranaut: Is vitriolic exchange between celebs leading to never before seen social media toxicity?

The war of words between actors Diljit Dosanjh and Kangana Ranaut continue— did it take social media toxicity to another level, also considering they are both influencers as well? We talk to some prominent members of the film industry to understand their take on this.
By Rishabh Suri | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 06:30 PM IST

Social media toxicity is a term which could very well become one of the highlights of 2020 — for all the wrong reasons of course. And what’s been happening in the recent times is taking it to another level, it seems. The otherwise happy and fan-friendly content put up by celebrities, has been replaced with their toxic exchanges, spewing hatred and anger.

The most recent example is the ongoing war of words between singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh and actor Kangana Ranaut. The former called out one of her tweets about the ongoing farmer protests, and wrote in Punjabi, “Listen to this with proof, Kangana. One shouldn’t be so blind... You are saying just about anything.” Ranaut, in return, called him filmmaker Karan Johar’s ‘paltu’ (pet). What followed was a vitriolic exchange between the duo, with celebs such as singers Ammy Virk and Mika Singh coming to Dosanjh’s support.

Are such exchanges leading to never before toxicity on social media? Filmmaker Hansal Mehta opines, “Toxicity exists on social media in any case. People like Kangana are adding to it, that’s all. There are two types of people- one, a toxic person, and the other who’s trying to ward off and defend themselves or an entire community against these toxic (people). The problem is unless these toxic celebs don’t stop, this toxicity will not end.” 

Some feel that such the exchanges even between the otherwise prim and proper celebs, is understandable because they are human beings too and can only take in so much. Actor Taapsee Pannu says the toxicity was never gone. “We saw the epitome of it during the lockdown. I don’t know if anything can get worse, whatever we saw within it, it was the lowest we had hit. At the end of the day, a celebrity is also a human being, we are not someone to be put onto a pedestal and worshipped, we are very regular human beings that have emotions. When we (are hit), we end up venting out,” says the 33-year-old, adding that everyone’s way of venting out is ‘different’.

“When such exchanges happen, you can only go through them and see for yourself what is the real person behind this... and see the more human side to celebs when these things happen,” she tells us.

Many celebrities and social media users came out in Dosanjh’s support. Actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, who is currently shooting for a project with the singer, posted a picture with him on Twitter. He thinks it’s a ‘very complicated issue’. 

“It’s not like just because celebs are getting into exchanges with each other, that’s why these things are happening, especially this episode. There was toxicity before that too, this one was like a sigh that these exchanged a conversation. It wasn’t toxicity, what he did, it was more to curb. That’s why started saying what he did, to the kind of things she (Kangana) was saying about farmer protests,” he says.

Producer Pritish Nandy doesn’t see why an argument should reach a level ‘where one side abuses the other or gets aggressive’. He elaborates, “The side which is aggressive has already lost, it means it has no case. Whoever has a case, argues, but whoever shouts, screams and rants… it has never been more obvious than on social media.”

Doesn’t it become more alarming when celebs do it, considering they influence millions? “I think this happens when people reach a stage where they either feel they have to come out and speak, or because things have turned bad. Or when people are told to speak by their government body. These are two alternatives,” says Nandy.

Interact with the author on Twitter/ @RishabhSuri02

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