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I should have been better informed, says Priyanka Chopra in written apology

Chopra made a valiant effort to put behind the controversy that erupted after her comments on Sikkim during an interview. 

Keyur Seta

Priyanka Chopra has tendered a detailed apology and explanation for inadvertently hurting the sentiments of the people of Sikkim, in a Facebook post.

Priyanka has apologized to the tourism minister of Sikkim, Ugen Gyatso via email for her comments on Sikkim yesterday. She had made the comments in an interview she gave at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) while speaking about Sikkimese film Pahuna: The Little Visitors. 

Priyanka and her mother Dr Madhu Chopra are producing Pahuna: The Little Visitors through their production house, Purple Pebbles Pictures. Directed by Paakhi A Tyrewala, the film was recently premiered at the TIFF.

While highlighting how hurt she was, Priyanka clarified that her statements were in context to her Sikkimese film Pahuna. “It saddens me that a comment I made during a recent interview at TIFF has caused this much pain when that was never the intention at all. I never meant to imply that Sikkim has insurgency. My statement was in context of the film that deals with people who seek refuge after they suffer from conflict,” she said. 

The Quantico actress again tendered an unconditional apology. “Sikkim is a peaceful, green state with peace loving people. I know that my statements have hurt the sentiments and pride of the people of Sikkim and for that I truly apologise,” she added. 

During her interview, the comment that faced flak the most was the one where she said that there is insurgency in Sikkim. Priyanka accepted that she wasn’t well-informed about the reality. “I have always taken pride as being someone who is informed about the world but this time, some of the statements made were incorrect and while I should have been better informed about certain facts, I take full responsibility for what I said,” said Priyanka. 

Priyanka also faced criticism for stating that Pahuna is the first Sikkimese film. She accepted the error on this front too. “I understand now that our film was not the first Sikkimese film to be made, but our aim has always been to provide local talent, both actors and technicians, a global platform to shine,” she said. 

Lastly, she sought forgiveness from the government and the people of Sikkim. “I understand the impact of the statements made and hope that the people and government of Sikkim find it in their hearts to forgive me,” she signed off. 

During the controversial interview, Priyanka had said, “Sikkim is a small state in the North-east of India which never had a film industry or anyone who made films from the region. This is the first film ever that's come out of that region, because it's very troubled with insurgency and troubling situations.”