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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Priyanka Chopra says sorry for calling Sikkim insurgency-hit. Read apology letter

Priyanka Chopra drew flak for her comments on Sikkim during a recent interview. She has now apologised to the tourism minister of the state.

bollywood Updated: Sep 14, 2017 18:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Priyanka Chopra said her film is the first to come out of the region and that Sikkim was  a state troubled with insurgency.
Priyanka Chopra said her film is the first to come out of the region and that Sikkim was a state troubled with insurgency.(AP)

After drawing ire from the people of Sikkim for her controversial comments on the peace situation in the state, Priyanka Chopra has apologised. The actor and her production company, Purple Pebble Films, apologised to Sikkim’s tourism minister, Ugen T Gyatso.

In an interview to News X, Gyatso said Priyanka, her company and the director and producer of her film, Pahuna: The Little Visitors, have apologised to him in writing and verbally. Gyatso also mentioned how her statements about Pahuna being the first film from Sikkim are wrong and gave the example of Dev Anand’s Jewel Thief as one of the earliest movies from Sikkim.

Meanwhile, a letter -- ostensibly written by Priyanka to the minister -- is going viral on social media. In the letter, Priyanka says that her comments were “misconstrued”. She asserts, “... I mentioned how Sikkim was grappling with the refugee situation caused by insurgencies... I had meant by the “neighbouring countries” .. I’m fully aware that Sikkim is an incredible host nation to so many refugees...”

When HT reached out to Priyanka’s publicist, she could not confirm if the apology letter was indeed written by the actor. However, she confirmed a statement “on similar lines” would be shared with the media soon.

Priyanka spoke about Sikkim in an interview to ET Canada at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 7. She was talking about Pahuna, which premiered at the gala.

“This is a Sikkimese film. Sikkim is a small state in the Northeast 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,” Priyanka said in the interview.

The remark was immediately criticised.

“Sikkim is one of the most peaceful states, dear Priyanka. We don’t have any insurgency here. Please comment responsibly,” tweeted one Santosh Subban from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.

One Tawqeer Hussain tweeted: “In fact it is foolish to create controversy on Priyanka Chopra’s statement over Sikkim as celebs like her are ‘politically illiterate’. Earlier, we have witnessed that many celebs don’t know the name of the President of India, so don’t expect them to be politically correct.”

Biswatosh Sinha, a scriptwriter from Assam, wrote: “Dear Priyanka Chopra, Sikkim is a peaceful place and #Pahuna is not the first film from the region. Plz get the facts right about Northeast.”

Incidentally, Priyanka is the tourism ambassador of Assam, one of the sister states in Northeast India.

Pahuna, directed by first timer Paakhi A. Tyrewala, was launched as an association between Priyanka and her mother Madhu Chopra’s banner Purple Pebble Pictures and Ministry of Tourism Sikkim.

“This is a film about two kids and the refugee crisis they face...,” Priyanka described the movie during the interview.

(With inputs from IANS)

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First Published: Sep 14, 2017 14:08 IST

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