Actor Priyanka Chopra today apologised for hurting the “sentiments and pride” of the people of Sikkim by incorrectly describing the state as insurgency-hit. The state government had condemned the actor and demanded an apology while social media users dubbed her “politically illiterate”. In an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, the actor-producer had said her film “Pahuna” was the first film to come out of the region which was troubled with insurgency.
Hoping to pacify the government and the people of Sikkim, the “Quantico” star issued a lengthy statement to apologise. “It saddens me that a comment I made during a recent interview at TIFF has caused this much pain when that was never the intention at all. I never meant to imply that Sikkim has insurgency. My statement was in context of the film that deals with people who seek refuge after they suffer from conflict,” she said. Describing Sikkim as a “peaceful, green state with peace loving people”, she said, “I know that my statements have hurt the sentiments and pride of the people of Sikkim and for that I truly apologise.”
The actor said she took “full responsibility” for her remarks and admitted that she should have been better informed. “I have always taken pride as being someone who is informed about the world but this time, some of the statements made were incorrect and while I should have been better informed about certain facts, I take full responsibility for what I said,” she said. Priyanka also retracted her statement that “Pahuna”, which is produced by her, is the first film to come out of Sikkim.
“I understand now that our film was not the first Sikkimese film to be made, but our aim has always been to provide local talent, both actors and technicians, a global platform to shine… “I understand the impact of the statements made and hope that the people and Government of Sikkim find it in their hearts to forgive me,” the actor said. She also praised the government and the local people for supporting her during the shooting of the movie.