Priyanka had made the comment at the world premiere of her home production Pahuna, a film that talks about refugee crises, told through the eyes of two Nepalese children. “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,” she had said at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017 (TIFF)
She received a backlash not just from the people of Sikkim, but also Ugen T. Gyatso, the Minister of Tourism of the state. She also released a statement about her comments.
“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. 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 wrote.
The actress and producer added that she took the blame for her statements. “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. 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. My team and I have had a wonderful experience working in the state and with the local cast and crew and are thankful to the support extended by the Government 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,” PeeCee concluded.