Priyanka Chopra apologises after being attacked for calling Sikkim insurgency-hit

Priyanka Chopra is in the eye of yet another storm. This time around, an interview of Priyanka has landed her in trouble for calling Sikkim, one of India's most peaceful states, 'troubled by insurgency'.

Priyanka's production Pahuna, directed by Pakhi Tyrewala, tells the story of two Nepalese children who are displaced because of conflict. Pahuna was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), on the sidelines of which Priyanka gave the now-slammed interview to ET Canada.

While talking about how Pahuna was a ground-breaking achievement, she said that it was the first film to come out of the region.

"Sikkim is a small state in the North-east of India which never had a film industry or anyone who made films from the region. This is the first film ever that's come out of that region, because it's very troubled with insurgency and troubling situations," she said.

Watch the interview here:

And social media was not ready to forgive her for her comments on Sikkim.

I strongly condemn the statements of @priyankachopra against #Sikkim.Shame on you #PriyankaChopra

- SunCha KurumBang (@SunchaKurumbang) September 14, 2017

@priyankachopra it might be a honest mistake for you, but for a tourism dependant state like ours, a honest mistake can have a huge impact

- binita chamling (@BinitaChamling) September 13, 2017

OMG ~ That's so SAD ~ Probably the reel life #MaryKom mistook #Sikkim for #Manipur ---

- Karma Bhutia (@iambhutia) September 13, 2017

@priyankachopra don't u dare scream discrimination when a white person calls u brown! You dense, ignorant imbecile! Leave #Sikkim alone!

- Shiori ? (@Avvan23) September 13, 2017

@priyankachopra Sikkim is the most peaceful state in the country. From where did u hear its troubled with insurgency??think before u speak

- Zigmi Bhutia (@zigmi_bhutia) September 13, 2017

Sikkim is one of the most peaceful states, dear Priyanka. We don't have any insurgency here. Plz comment responsibly.@priyankachopra

- Santosh Subba (@sonupondhak) September 13, 2017

@priyankachopra Shocking that you said #Sikkim is insurgency troubled. With due respect, this was disrespectful at best. We, the (1/2)

- Nisha Bora (@NishaBora) September 14, 2017

In 2013, Sikkim was announced the Indian state with the lowest crime rate.

Twitter users also pointed it out to Priyanka that Pahuna was the first film to come out Sikkim.

.@priyankachopra produced PAHUNA, directed by @PaakhiATyrewala (a female, first-time director) is the first to ever come out of Sikkim. pic.twitter.com/vIqYO0MDdO

- TIFF (@TIFF_NET) September 7, 2017

While the number of films from Sikkim is hardly anywhere near other big film industries in India, films like Katha and Acharya are from Sikkim. Her production Pahuna is not the 'first ever' film to come out of the state.

The Baywatch actor is the brand ambassador of Assam.

Priyanka Chopra tendered an apology to the Sikkim government, while her mother Madhu Chopra spoke to Ugen Gyatso, the tourism minister of Sikkim to apologise for the comment.

"Her mother spoke to me over phone and has apologised for the comment," Ugen Gyatso, the tourism minister of Sikkim, told India Today Television.

Condemning the statement by Priyanka, Gyatso had sought an apology from the actor.

Priyanka's apology, a copy of which Sikkim Chronicle has got, reads:

"I'm sorry I have to write to you under these circumstances.. but I needed to clarify my stance in regards to the situation which has arisen due to a comment of mine during an interview for my film Pahuna, which was misunderstood.

As you are aware, I hold the Government and the people of Sikkim in high regard and have in addition to Pahuna been looking to tell more great stories from Sikkim.

From the moment I heard the script of Pahuna, I knew I wanted to share this story with the world. It is important to me because no one else was willing to take a chance on a film like this, that deals with the refugee crises which is an issue that is being dealt with across the world as it is being in Sikkim.. Pahuna is a film that brings a message of hope and positivity.

My comment, made during an interview at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival 2017, where Pahuna made its worldwide debut, was misconstrued. I was talking about the Sikkimese film industry and also the subject of the film, where I mentioned how Sikkim was grappling with the refugee situation caused by insurgencies.. I had meant by the 'neighbouring countries' .. I am fully aware that Sikkim is an incredible host nation (sic) to so many refugees and our film shows exactly that through the children's point of view...

I understand that the statement I made in the interview was open to interpretation. I should have been clearer with my intention. We've made a beautiful film that would not have been possible without the support of the government and people of Sikkim. In no way did I intend to offend or hurt anyone's sentiments and for that I apologise.

I appreciate all the support you have shown me and my team and I wanted to clear the misunderstanding with you directly."

(With inputs from Indrajit Kundu)

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