NEW YORK, Aug 13 (APP):Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra was accused of hypocrisy by a gutsy Pakistani woman during a panel discussion in the US city of Los Angeles, amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, according to American media reports.
As Ms. Chopra was taking questions on Saturday at BeautyCon, a cosmetics events, Ayesha Malik, the Pakistani in the audience, went up to the microphone and called her a hypocrite for “encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan” while serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
“So it was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity, because as your neighbour, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite,” Ms. Malik said. “You tweeted on February 26, ‘Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces’.”
“You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There’s no winner in this,” Malik said. “As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood and you wanted nuclear war.”
The microphone was taken away from Malik toward the end of her statement.
The Bollywood actress looked a bit ruffled, but defended herself against Ms. Malik’s criticism, saying that “war is not something I am really fond of but I am patriotic.”
“Whenever you’re done venting … got it, done? Okay, cool,” the actress said, before launching into her response.
“So, I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India, and war is not something that I am really fond of but I am patriotic,” Ms. Chopra said. “So, I’m sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me, but I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well.”
“The way you came at me right now?” Ms. Chopra said, while trying to be patronizing. “Girl, don’t yell. We’re all here for love. Don’t yell. Don’t embarrass yourself. But we all walk that middle ground, but thank you for your enthusiasm and your question and your voice.”
Ms. Malik later addressed the incident on Twitter, while standing by her criticism of the Bollywood actress.
“Hi, I’m the girl that ‘yelled’ at Priyanka Chopra,” she wrote. “It was hard listening to her say, ‘we should be neighbors and love each other’ — swing that advice over to your PM. Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favour for nuclear war.”
“It took me back to when I couldn’t reach my family because of the blackouts and how scared/helpless I was,” Malik continued in another tweet. “She gaslit me and turned the narrative around on me being the ‘bad guy’ — as a UN ambassador this was so irresponsible.”
Meanwhile, Ayesha Malik told Al-Jazeera television on Monday, “My friend and I were walking around and we walked by Priyanka’s talk. We did not want to watch or stick around but I heard her start talking about how she’s a humanitarian – she said we should ‘love our neighbours’ and I just thought that was very funny of her to say.”