Priyanka Chopra, who was in Jordan to visit the Syrian refugee camp was appalled by their plight and said the world should be inspired by their resilience. After spreading smiles on the faces of Syrian children in Jordan, Priyanka met Queen Rania Al Abdullah. Both shared their commitment to working for the betterment of Syrian children.
However, the actress has courted fresh controversy after saying that Sikkim is troubled by an insurgency.
In an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017. Priyanka's comment came after the worldwide premiere of her home production Pahuna, a film which talks about refugee crises through the eyes of two Nepalese children.
Pahuna, directed by Pakhi Tyrewala, is the story of two Nepalese children who are displaced because of conflict.
In her interview with ET Canada, Priyanka spoke about how Pahuna was a ground-breaking achievement. She said that it was the first film to come out of Sikkim.
"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 said in the interview
Soon after her interview resurfaced, many Twitter users started slamming the actor for being "politically illiterate".
Biswatosh Sinha, a screenwriter from Assam, posted, "Dear Priyanka Chopra, Sikkim is a peaceful place and #Pahuna is not the first film from the region. Please get the facts right about Northeast."
One user wrote, "Does she know the difference between Sikkim and othr NE States? This is how India is defamed...."
Priyanka is also the brand ambassador of Assam, has tendered an apology to the Sikkim government, while her mother Madhu Chopra spoke to Ugen Gyatso, the tourism minister of Sikkim to apologise for the comment.
"Her mother spoke to me over phone and has apologised for the comment," Ugen Gyatso, the tourism minister of Sikkim, told India Today Television.
This is what her letter to the tourism ministry reads:
"I'm sorry I have to write to you under these circumstances.. but I needed to clarify my stance in regards to the situation which has arisen due to a comment of mine during an interview for my film Pahuna, which was misunderstood.
As you are aware, I hold the Government and the people of Sikkim in high regard and have in addition to Pahuna been looking to tell more great stories from Sikkim.
From the moment I heard the script of Pahuna, I knew I wanted to share this story with the world. It is important to me because no one else was willing to take a chance on a film like this, that deals with the refugee crises which is an issue that is being dealt with across the world as it is being in Sikkim.. Pahuna is a film that brings a message of hope and positivity.
My comment, made during an interview at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival 2017, where Pahuna made its worldwide debut, was misconstrued. I was talking about the Sikkimese film industry and also the subject of the film, where I mentioned how Sikkim was grappling with the refugee situation caused by insurgencies.. I had meant by the 'neighbouring countries' .. I am fully aware that Sikkim is an incredible host nation (sic) to so many refugees and our film shows exactly that through the children's point of view...
I understand that the statement I made in the interview was open to interpretation. I should have been clearer with my intention. We've made a beautiful film that would not have been possible without the support of the government and people of Sikkim. In no way did I intend to offend or hurt anyone's sentiments and for that I apologise.
I appreciate all the support you have shown me and my team and I wanted to clear the misunderstanding with you directly."
(Input from PTI)