Varun Gandhi slams Kangana Ranaut over India's 'real freedom' comment
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Varun Gandhi on Thursday hit out at Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut over her controversial comments regarding India's freedom struggle. Ranaut had recently said that India got its "true freedom" in 2014, calling the 1947 exit of the British regime "charity." A Lok Sabha MP from Pilibhit, Gandhi wondered whether her comments should be described as "madness" or "treason."
Why does it matter?
Ranaut is a vocal supporter of Gandhi's BJP, which leads the ruling alliance in the central government. Ranaut's comments have drawn strong reactions from all concerns as it appears to undermine the efforts of the activists involved in India's independence movement. On the other hand, Gandhi is an opinionated figure, who has had no qualms about differing from his party.
'Ranaut insulting freedom fighters' sacrifices'
In a tweet, Gandhi criticized Ranaut for insulting the sacrifices made by India's freedom fighters. "Sometimes, they insult Mahatma Gandhi's sacrifice and piety, then they often respect his killer," he said. "And now the disdain over sacrifices of Mangal Pandey, Rani Laxmibai, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and lakhs of freedom fighters," he added.
'Anti-national act,' says Gandhi
"It is an anti-national act and must be called out as such. To not do so would be a betrayal of all those who shed blood so that today we may stand tall and free as a nation," Gandhi was quoted by PTI as saying.
What had Ranaut said?
Speaking at a Times Now Summit, Ranaut had said that the previous governments of the Indian National Congress were an extension of the British rule. "That was not freedom," Ranaut said, referring to India's independence on August 15, 1947. "That was charity. India got its true freedom in 2014." Ranaut is understood to have been referring to the BJP coming to power in 2014.
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British decided whose blood will flow: Ranaut
"The British were acutely aware that blood will flow, but they decided whose blood will flow. It should not be their blood," she added. "The British needed some people for this, and these people are "labeled as liberals or the Congress.
Kangana responds to Gandhi's criticism
Ranaut, who remains banned from Twitter, responded to Gandhi's criticism on Instagram. "Even though I clearly mentioned that 1857 freedom fight was the first revolution that was curbed...which led to more atrocities and cruelties from the British and almost a century was given to us in Gandhi's begging bowl...Jaa aur ro ab (Go cry some more)," Ranaut wrote on her Instagram Stories.
History distorted: Kangana on Savarkar
Ranaut also spoke on Veer Savarkar, a Hindu nationalist involved in India's independence movement. She said history had been distorted, depriving many heroes of their due credit. Savarkar has been criticized for allegedly being pliant toward the British regime. "What followed after (1857) is the most unfortunate part of history," she added. Ranaut had recently visited Savarkar's cell in Kala Pani, Andaman & Nicobar.
AAP member files complaint against Ranaut
Meanwhile, the national executive chairperson of the Aam Aadmi Party, Preethi Menon, filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police seeking an FIR against Ranaut for her "seditious and inflammatory" remarks. Congress and the Shiv Sena have also condemned the actor's remark.
Gandhi was dropped from top BJP body last month
Incidentally, Gandhi had recently been the center of another controversy when he explicitly condemned the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Violence had erupted in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri last month after a Union Minister's convoy mowed down protesting farmers. Eight people were killed. Thereafter, Gandhi and his mother Maneka Gandhi were dropped from the BJP's National Executive, the party's top decision-making body.