Raveena Tandon tweets wearing saris makes one 'Sanghi' and 'communal'. Go figure
Is it too late to say sorry?
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Social media, especially Twitter, has provided many celebrities - current and former - a platform to air their views and engage directly with their audience. In India, however, what's been observed lately is many former stars: cricketers past their prime; ageing film actors; retired army folkers; has-been singers, to name a few - are all vying for attention, by stoking one controversy after the other.
From Sonu Nigam to Virendra Sehwag to Abhijeet, these has-been celebrities are unnecssarily politicisng and polarising non-issues to get their two minutes of fame and maybe get back intp the spotlight. Or, perhaps, to be in the good books of the ruling establishment? Maybe. Maybe not.
The latest to join this bandwagon is 90s Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon. And the unfortunate object of a massive Twitterstorm was the humble sari. Yes, that elegant, previously non-political piece of woman's clothing has been politicised, rather given a "Hindutva" spin:
A sareee day ... will I be termed communal,Sanghi,bhakt,hindutva icon?if I say I love wearing the saree and I think it's the most elegant😔🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/3ZYDJcyKJk— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 10, 2017
The actor says that she may be branded communal, a Sanghi, a bhakt, or even Hindutva icon for wearing a sari. We can only guess as to the superhuman logic behind this absolutely bizarre statement. Perhaps, Raveena is implying that only Hindu women can wear saris. Or, perhaps, it is the assumption that taking pride in anything "Indian" or "Bhartiya" makes one a "bhakt" or a "Sanghi".
Sorry to disappoint you, Raveena but saris are as far removed from any religion, region or ideology as can be. From Mother Teresa to Madhuri Dixit, Waheeda Rehman to Nandita Das; from Banarsi silk sari to Kerala's Settu Sari - the graceful attire, contrary to what Tandon implied, is all inclusive.
As our columnist has written before, whether it be Madhubala trying to get hold of her pallu in the glamorous photoshoot for Life magazine, Waheeda Rehman swaying to her freedom in Guide's "Kaanton se kheench ke ye aanchal", the uber sexy Zeenat Aman draped in a see through sari, Madhuri Dixit doing the dhak dhak or Priyanka Chopra looking her best in that yellow sari while receiving the national award. The sari never fails to add to a woman's charm.
Many Twitter users called out the actor's baffling tweet:
No Raveena Tandon, u wont be called Sanghi, Bhakt for wearing Saree. U will just be called Stupid for thinking so. pic.twitter.com/7nIjSfxSI9— Joy (@Joydas) June 10, 2017
can someone please give raveena tandon some work to do— Rega Jha (@RegaJha) June 10, 2017
That sari is almost as beautiful as your faux victimhood is nauseating.— Vinay Aravind (@vinayaravind) June 10, 2017
The woman is a vacuous embarassment. To see the sari as a newly discovered patriotic totem, reveals her natural habitat as cloud cuckoo land https://t.co/p4denblwf2— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) June 10, 2017
Indian women wearing it for ages would be stunned to know they are walking-talking ads for BJP— Vidya Subrahmaniam (@VSubrahmaniam) June 10, 2017
Raveena will send her to Pakistan. Oh but, but, they also wear saris! Uff https://t.co/H16xAnZSMv— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) June 10, 2017
After causing much outrage, the actor later apologised through a series of tweets saying that her "sarcasm" was misconstrued and that she was taking on trolls (?).
The reason that i put a disclaimer for saying I love the saree!Nowadays can be trolled for anything and can be twisted to suit narrative https://t.co/zUR7bisFxi— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 10, 2017
True. My this saree comment came keeping that trolling in mind. Was never intended to hurt anyone . https://t.co/eiBc6wR8HO— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 10, 2017
Saree is a beautiful Elegant Indian Garment.My Tweet was NOT to communalise Saree.Was my fear of being trolled to say I love anything Indian— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 10, 2017
If it has come across as anything else.I apologise.That was not the intention.Had not thought that it would be misunderstood the way it has.— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 10, 2017
We can only say that Raveena, it is to late to say sari.