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Rashmika & The Saga of Controversies: Does A National Crush Really Deserve All The Hate?

M Sai Jahanvi |Monday, 23 Jan 2023 - 5:06 PM

Rashmika Mandanna Trolled
Rashmika Mandanna Trolled

Misquoted, misunderstood, or really jejune? The actress has been subject to incessant trolling ever since the break-off of her engagement in 2018

Despite carving a niche for herself at a young age by acting in 18 films, and collaborating with superstars across four industries, within a span of six years, Rashmika Mandanna has been subject to a lot of hate and negativity ever since she started her career in 2016. It all began when she announced the breaking off of her engagement with her ex-fiancé and popular Kannada actor Rakshit Shetty, post the success of her 2018 film Geetha Govindam.

The slut-shaming and lambasting reached a point where her ex-partner Rakshit had to break his silence and issue a statement asking his fans not to target her. He said, "You all have formed opinions about Rashmika. I don't blame any of you because that's how it is projected. Please stop judging her. Please let her be at peace.” But the criticism didn’t end there, it in fact was the beginning. However, the actress does admit that she is at fault sometimes for not being able to communicate or articulate well enough, and has to learn what to say and not to say, with whom, and how much, keeping in mind that she’s a public figure and whatever she says or does is subject to scrutiny. 

        1. Labelled As Anti-Kannada For Not Knowing The Language Properly

During the promotions of her 2019 film Dear Comrade, Rashmika was asked a question in an interview where the interviewer assumed that it might’ve been easy for her to dub in Kannada among the four languages in which the film had released because she hails from Karnataka. But she quickly intervened with a "no" and added, "adu kastam....paaranga, enakku ae language correct aa varaadungaa (It is also difficult… see, I cannot speak any language correctly)."

Many of the Kannadigas took offense at the statement and berated her saying that it’s an insult to Karnataka, Kannada, and the Kannadigas when a person who is born and brought up in the state doesn’t know to speak the language of the land properly. They said, “It’s ok if she can’t speak other languages, but claiming that she can’t speak even Kannada is something very rude.”

       2. Trolled Massively For Naming Yash as ‘Mr Showoff’ In A Rapid-fire Round

In 2017, Rashmika got into a huge controversy when she took the name of the Kannada actor Yash to answer a rapid-fire question on “Who is Mr Showoff in the industry?” Her reply was taken out of context and blown out of proportion, and she was massively trolled by the fans of the KGF star. But one can understand the truth only when one watches the interview, where she also named Yash as one of the dream actors with whom she would love to work with, and his film ‘Santhu Straight Forward’ as the movie she would’ve loved to be a part of and wished she had played Radhika Pandit’s character in the movie. The then 21-year-old actress soon penned a lengthy note clarifying the issue and apologised for something she didn’t intend to do.

        3. Slammed For Not Watching ‘Kantara’

Before reading further, watch this video below

Yes, that’s all what Rashmika said when the media spotted at an airport and asked her if she had watched Rishab Shetty’s blockbuster Kannada film Kantara. She said “Oh not yet ya, I want to watch. Soon, I’m going to go back and watch.” This answer earned her the accusations of disrespecting her seniors and forgetting the industry where she took her first steps. For the uninitiated, Rishab Shetty helmed her debut movie ‘Kirik Party'. However, the actress recently in an interview with journalist Prema, expressed that she’ll always be grateful to Rishab and Rakshit for showing her the path into the industry and Puneeth Rajkumar for seeding a thought in her to push her boundaries and influencing her to go beyond them.

        4. Condemned For Forgetting Her Roots

While promoting her Bollywood debut film ‘Goodbye’, Rashmika appeared in a talk show called ‘Curly Tales’ and when speaking to the host Kamiya Jani about her acting journey, the Pushpa actress said, “I participated in a competition called Fresh Face. My photo was put on the front page of The Times of India. After that, I started my college life normally again. One day I got a phone call from "this" production house…” 

Rashmika didn't mention the name of the production house (Paramvah Studios) that launched her and air quoted (which is usually applied to mock or express irony) the production house, which triggered the netizens once again. They claimed that she is taking an indirect jibe at Rishab Shetty who launched her and is being ungrateful. 

  • Rishab Shetty’s indirect jibe at Rashmika Mandanna

Soon after, Rishab Shetty’s apparent indirect jibe at Rashmika added fuel to the fire. In an interview with Gulte.com, the Kantara actor-director Rishab was asked if he wanted to work with Sai Pallavi, Samantha, Rashmika or Keerthy Suresh, who are currently the ‘top actresses’ when it comes to the South Indian film industry. The actor then replied, “mai actors ko script likhne ke baad choose karta hoon… aur mujhe “is” type ke actress, I don’t like them.” (I choose my actors once I’m done with the script.. and I don’t like “this” type of actresses.)

       5. Bollywood Vs South Romantic Songs

Rashmika Mandanna's latest comment on romantic songs in Bollywood films versus that in South cinema has not gone down well with a certain section of people. She, who until then remained as ‘Anti-Kannada’ became ‘Anti-South’, with the fresh controversy. 

When asked about this later in an interview, Rashmika stated that she couldn’t complete what she wanted to say that day as she was interrupted midway, and said “I wanted to say that we have all kinds of songs in the South and I’ve gotten so many romantic songs which are some of the biggest in my career, be it Belageddu, Choosi Choodangane, Kadalalle, Inkem Inkem, Srivalli, etc. I’m grateful for them, but again Bollywood 80s and 90s songs were a thing in my house… and all. But things went out of hand before I could clarify.”   

Not just these, Rashmika was also criticised for her appearance in a brand advertisement starring alongside the Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal, and for her inconsequential role in Sarileru Neekevvaru which came after her earlier remarks that she would never be a part of films where her character has no substance and her role is trivial. After all this, even a heartfelt open letter couldn’t save her from any further trouble.

As much as the realisation for Rashmika that she, as a public personality, has to learn and become more aware of what she speaks, how she speaks, and with whom she speaks, so paramount is the sensitivity and empathy for people who point out fingers at her or people like her. They should also be aware of what to criticise, how to criticise and whom to criticise.

Updated date:  Wednesday, 25 Jan 2023 - 12:06 PM

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