Kangana Ranaut is the queen of controversy. From sparking debates about nepotism to her recent clash with the BMC, the actor has been in the news for a while. But now her statements have come to a point where they can no longer be taken as 'harmless personal opinions'.
India is going through a mental health crisis. According to a study published in The Lancet, one in every seven Indians is affected by mental illness. A 2019 report by the World Health Organisation found that India has the highest suicide rate in South-East Asia. And yet, talking about it is considered taboo. People suffering from mental health issues in our country not only have to suffer through a debilitating illness but also deal with the stigma that comes attached with it. In fact, a large number of people suffering from a mental illness don't seek treatment because they are too afraid to talk to their family or loved ones.
However, things began to change when actor Deepika Padukone opened up about her personal battle with depression on national television. It made people believe that if a famous actor they looked up to can candidly talk about her struggles with mental illness, seek help, and get better, then they could do it too. It wouldn't be wrong to credit Deepika as one of the first few people who initiated a dialogue about mental health awareness in India. Since then, several other well-known personalities have spoken about their personal struggles with mental illness, and little by little, we seemed to be making some stride towards better mental health.
However, when famous actors like Kangana Rauanut take to twitter to give their personal opinion on a matter they don't have ANY expertise over, they are un-doing years of slow progress about a very sensitive issue. Kangana has been advocating for an investigation into the alleged drug abuse in Bollywood and has accused several actors of the consumption of narcotics.
Today, as news broke out that the Narcotics Control Bureau might be summoning actor Deepika Padukone for question in relation to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, Kangana took no time to take a dig at her and say, "Repeat after me, depression is a consequence of drug abuse. So called high society rich star children who claim to be classy and have a good upbringing ask their manager,” MAAL HAI KYA?” #BoycottBollywoodDruggies #DeepikaPadukone."
Repeat after me, depression is a consequence of drug abuse. So called high society rich star children who claim to be classy and have a good upbringing ask their manager ,” MAAL HAI KYA?” #boycottBollywoodDruggies #DeepikaPadukone https://t.co/o9OZ7dUsfG— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) September 21, 2020
Sorry to break it to you Kangana, but depression is NOT a consequence of drug abuse. It is a mental disorder that occurs due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Not only are you invalidating everyone who suffers from this debilitating illness, but you are also re-instating the stigma attached to it--that only 'bad people' who do 'drugs' can suffer from depression.
By using a mental illness for your own personal vendetta, you are keeping mentally ill people from speaking up about their illness and seeking help. Someone of your influence should think a hundred times before making extremely damaging statements like these. You are NOT a mental health professional, and you DO NOT have the right to gaslight the thousands of people suffering from a mental illness in the sixth most depressed country in the world.
This is not the first time Kangana used Deepika Padukone's mental illness to make personal attacks on her. Last month, the Manikarnika actor reduced Deepika's mental health struggles to a 'breakup'.
If @deepikapadukone says she suddenly got depressed for a break up which happened 10 years ago, we believe her so give me and Sushant same respect if I say I am not mentally ill or if Sushant’s father says he wasn’t mentally ill believe us also na. Why you forcing illness on us? https://t.co/CArWXKoyRw— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) August 19, 2020
Earlier, she called Deepika "depression ka dhanda chalane waali" (people who've made a business out of depression) and said that she should be "remanded".
Mumbai Police is exposed big time, Sushant’s family said they don’t trust them, also Bollywood’s “repeat after me”gang, depression ka dhanda chalane wale should be remanded @deepikapadukone #RheaChakraborty #WhyFearCBIForSSR https://t.co/i5kg7nZCIU— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) July 28, 2020
Ever since Sushant Singh Rajput's alleged death by suicide, it has been extremely disheartening to see the discourse around mental health on mainstream media. First, it was Sushant's ex-girlfriend Anikta Lokhande who said that he was 'not the depressed type' and she 'cannot believe the depression narrative'. Then, Sushant's family accused his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty of murdering him because they found it hard to believe that he was depressed.
The lowest point was probably when a news anchor notorious for passing off shouting matches for 'debates' started flashing pictures and videos of Sushant on our television screen, and screamed, "Does it look like he was depressed? Is this what a depressed person looks like?"
Here's a newsflash: a depressed person doesn't carry a particular 'look'. They can have a job, friends, money, a seemingly fulfilling life, and yet be depressed. They can look like you and me.
So please, Kangana Ranaut, the next time you pick up your keyboard to settle your personal vendettas, leave people suffering from mental illness out of it.
Featured Image: Instagram