'Manikarnika Returns': Kangana Ranaut accused of violating copyright laws
Soon after the announcement of the second leg of the Manikarnika franchise, the movie has landed into a controversy over copyright issues. The film's star Kangana Ranaut has been accused of violating rights by author Ashish Kaul, who wrote the book, Didda - Kashmir Ki Yodha Rani. The movie is scheduled to enter production in 2022. Here is more on this.
Yesterday, the 33-year-old actor took to Twitter to announce the sequel to Manikarnika. The film will trace the story of Queen Didda, the first woman ruler of Kashmir. Ranaut tweeted, "Another such untold story of heroism is of a queen from Kashmir, who defeated Mahmud of Ghazni not once but twice in battle (sic)." The movie will be bankrolled by Ranaut and Kamal Jain.
हमारा भारतवर्ष साक्षी रहा है झाँसी की रानी जैसे कई वीरांगनाओं की कहानी का. ऐसी ही एक और अनकही वीरगाथा है कश्मीर की एक रानी की, जिसने महमूद गजनवी को एक नहीं, दो बार हराया. ले कर आ रहे हैं @KamalJain_TheKJ और मैं, #ManikarnikaReturns: The Legend of Didda 🙏 pic.twitter.com/sgrqkqilj6— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) January 14, 2021
Talking to The Times of India in an interview, Kaul stated that he is the sole copyright owner of the life story of Queen Didda. "A book is being usurped by a renowned actor-turned-social activist," he alleged. He claimed that no one has information on Didda apart from the author Kalhan or him, adding that he has spent "six years on research and documentation."
The author informed that he had earlier approached Ranaut, "requesting her to pen a foreword for the book Didda - Kashmir Ki Yodha Rani (sic)." He said, "Appended in the same email was the entire life story of the warrior queen (sic)," adding that he did not receive any reply from the actor or her sister Rangoli Chandel, who manages her work.
"It is illegal and an absolute violation of the IPR and copyright laws of the same country that she swears by. I find it so brazen and hideous and I am still inclined to believe that Kangana has been misguided (sic)," Kaul further said.
Ranaut's film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi was also surrounded by controversies. It has been alleged that the actor took control of the movie and re-shot large portions of it. The film's co-director Krish Jagarlamudi had said in an interview, "I am sick and tired of Kangana and the whole controversy (sic)." Similar allegations have been leveled against Ranaut by other filmmakers as well.
Released in 2019, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, was based on the life of Rani Laxmi Bai. Apart from Ranaut, the movie also featured actors Atul Kulkarni, Ankita Lokhande, Jisshu Sengupta, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, among others. Nevertheless, Ranaut was praised for her performance.