25 years after Amul topical on Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela, divided India is outraged
Utterly, bitterly and not so delicious, the popular cancel culture was after India's favourite butter brand. Cancel Amul. Boycott Amul. A controversy erupted on Friday morning over Amul Baby as Urmila Matondkar promoting the Rangeela Makhan. As we sat down with our bread and butter this morning, scrolling through our Twitter feed, Amul was a trending topic. Amul is famous for trending for its topicals, but this time there was something rancid in the air. People were outraging over a 'masoom' topical cartoon. Released 25 years ago to celebrate Urmila Matondkar and her performance in Ram Gopal Varma's Rangeela, this cartoon carried the text "Masoom no more?" along with a picture of the Amul girl in an Urmila-aah avatar. Twitter first outraged calling it Amul's reaction to Kangana Ranaut's "soft porn star" comment, directed at Urmila Matondkar. We'll tell you about it here. Then, when someone pointed out this was just old butter and not even in a new wrapper, Amul was branded 'sexist'. Call to boycott Amul, however, continued to sound.
Now, Ram Gopal Varma may have butterfingers, ending up dropping things one shouldn't on social media (read: the several trailers of his recent releases), this time he got it right. RGV had tweeted this cartoon on September 11 with the caption, "Amul hoarding after RANGEELA released," tagging Urmila Matondkar. Twitterati just ignored it, like the trailers he keeps dropping. Had they not, the butter wouldn't get rancid. But why were people so quick to jump to the not-so-obvious political conclusion? The answer is simple. That's how on-the-edge we are, and have been for some time now. And that's how divided, too. Things are taken out of context as easily as a knife is run through soft butter. That Urmila Matondkar was briefly part of the Congress party, and Kangana spoke of a "ticket" may have contributed to our bullish rigidity. But at the end of the day, all we learned from this is that we, Indians, collectively, have absolutely no clue which side of our bread is buttered.