Indian fans upset with Chopra in Quantico

Actress Priyanka Chopra's FBI agent character in Quantico foiled a terror plot by Indian nationalists in a recent episode, sparking an uproar in India.
Actress Priyanka Chopra's FBI agent character in Quantico foiled a terror plot by Indian nationalists in a recent episode, sparking an uproar in India.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW DELHI • Priyanka Chopra received a dressing-down in India recently for baring her legs in a meeting with its Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Now, the 35-year-old actress has been accused of betraying India.

In a recent episode of American television show Quantico, in which she portrays an FBI agent, her character foils a plot by Indian nationalists to carry out a nuclear attack in Manhattan and frame the Pakistanis for it. The agent had spotted a Hindu symbol on a chain worn by one of the terrorists.

To many in India, the plot twist - implicating Indians in a terrorist act - amounts to an act of bad faith by her.

The uproar over the episode comes at a time when India's government is trying to publicly distance itself from extremist Hindu organisations.

Recently, a member of Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party offered a bounty for beheading a top Indian actress for starring in a movie that he believed would put the Hindu community in a bad light.

Chopra, who has appeared in more than 50 movies, mostly in Bollywood, faces huge pressure to depict India positively abroad.

She was trolled in India when she visited a Rohingya refugee camp last month for spotlighting the suffering of Muslims rather than visiting persecuted Hindus.

She has spoken about wanting to break stereotypes about India.

In 2014, she told the Guardian: "We don't talk like Apu (the Indian immigrant character) from The Simpsons and there's more to the world's biggest democracy than henna and sparkly clothes."

She responded to the flak over her meeting with Mr Modi by posting a picture of her mother and her wearing short dresses, captioning it "legs for days".

But in a lighter vein, fans have also lapped up news of her possible romance with American singeractor Nick Jonas, 25. The duo have spent time together and fired off flirtatious messages on Instagram.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'Indian fans upset with Chopra in Quantico'. Print Edition | Subscribe