Manipur Actor Faces Ban Threat For Attending Beauty Contest Amid Unrest
Manipuri actor Soma Laishram is drawing fire for participating in a beauty contest in defiance of a call to boycott such events during the ongoing unrest in the Northeastern state. An Imphal-based civil society organisation, which had given the boycott call, has now said Ms Laishram must be banned by filmmakers for three years.
Ms Laishram, who has acted in over 150 Manipuri films and won several awards, was the show stopper for a beauty pageant at the North East Students’ Festival held in New Delhi on Saturday.
- Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL), a prominent civil society group in Manipur, had called for a boycott of such events and had approached the Film Actors Guild Manipur to request the actress not to take part in the pageant.
- The organisation alleges that despite the general appeal made to celebrities and personal advice given to her, Ms Laishram attended the event.
The move has sent shockwaves through the Manipur film fraternity, but the actress defended her decision to represent Manipur in the event. Ms Laishram said she used her platform to speak about the unprecedented turmoil in Manipur and appealed for peace and normalcy in the violence-hit state.
“As an actor and a social influencer, it is my responsibility to communicate and speak up about the crisis in Manipur and I chose this platform. The event I participated in is a northeast festival hosted by a non-profit organisation. It is not a beauty or fashion show organised for fun or to party. It is a cultural event where each state of the northeast was represented by their popular figures. From Manipur, it happened to be me. They invited me. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity,” she said in a video statement.
Film Forum’s Response
The Film Forum Manipur (FFM), the governing body of all film organisations in the state, has slammed the civil body’s decision, saying it would work to have the call for a ban on Ms Laishram revoked.