Actress Kangana Ranaut has once again got the leftist brigade all worked up, courting controversy with her views on India’s independence struggle against British Raj. Last week, while speaking at a summit she said that India’s freedom was a “bheekh (handout)”. On 16 November, she stood by her statement and advised people to choose their heroes wisely.
Today, Kangana shared an old newspaper article and wrote, “Either you are a Gandhi fan or Netaji supporter. You can’t be both, choose and decide.” The newspaper had an old article from the 1940s with the headline, “Gandhi, others agreed to hand over Netaji.”
Kangana said that freedom fighters were “handed over” to the British by those “who had no courage” to fight oppression but were “power-hungry”. She took potshots at Mahatma Gandhi and said, “Those are the ones who taught us if someone slaps you offer another cheek for one more slap and that is how you will get āzādi. That’s not how one gets āzādi, one can only get bheekh like that. Choose your heroes wisely.”
Kangana Ranaut claimed that Gandhi ‘never supported’ Bhagat Singh or Subhas Chandra Bose. “So you need to choose who you support because just placing them all in one box of your memory and every year wishing them all on their birth anniversaries is not enough. In fact, it is not just dumb, it is highly irresponsible and superficial. One must know their history and their heroes,” she said.
A few days ago, the 34-year-old Padma Shri awardee said during the Times Now Summit that India’s independence in 1947 was not freedom but “bheekh” and the country got real independence in 2014 when the Narendra Modi-led government came into power. The comments drew flak from several politicians and others.
The Indian National Congress (INC) on 12 November demanded that the union government take back Kangana’s Padma Shri honour for insulting the country’s independence movement.