Indian actor Priyanka Chopra has been accused of encouraging war, after a tweet in support of India’s military at the height of tensions with Pakistan.
A Pakistani-American woman attending a beauty conference featuring Chopra in Los Angeles called her a hypocrite.
The actor tweeted in February: “Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces”, loosely translated as Long Live India.
At the time the nuclear-armed neighbours were engaged in fast-escalating military provocations.
Chopra was on stage at Beautycon, an industry convention, at the weekend when Pakistani-American Ayesha Malik, who was in the audience, questioned her.
“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,” said Ayesha Malik, who posted a video of the incident to her Twitter page.
She referenced Chopra’s February tweet saying: “You are a Unicef ambassador for peace, and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There’s no winner in this.” The mic was taken away from Ms Malik before she could continue.
Chopra, who has been a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador since 2016, responded by saying she had many friends from Pakistan and that she was not fond of war but was a patriot.
Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated to their worst point in years after nearly 40 Indian soldiers were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir, in an attack claimed by a Pakistan-based terrorist group.
Chopra’s tweet came as India launched air strikes on Pakistani territory – leading to counter strikes by Pakistan.
Chopra responded to the accusation, but also chided Ms Malik for her tone.
“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. 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,” she said.
“Girl, don’t yell,” Chopra said. “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 called her response “gaslighting” and making her the “bad guy” on Twitter.