Ms. Kangna Ranaut, your Padmashree award is a ‘bheek’ (alms) and not India’s hard-won freedom struggle against the Britishers.

OPINION

Surat (Gujarat) [India), November 15 : There is nothing special or notable about her acting in Bollywood films, but the statement made by Kangna Ranaut on India’s hard-won freedom from British colonial rule is highly disturbing and sad. No citizen, born and brought up in India, can accept Ranaut’s statement that freedom gained in 1947 ‘was a bheek (alms) and real freedom was attained in 2014’.

With her scatterbrained statement, Ranaut has not only insulted our freedom fighters but the entire nation. She has lost her dignity as an actress of the Indian films as the Padmashree award conferred on Ranaut was a ‘bheek’ and not India’s freedom from the British colonial rule.

Following Ranaut’s statement, the Shiv Sena on Thursday demanded that actor Kangna Ranaut be stripped of all her national awards after her comments on India’s freedom. Through her statement, Ranaut wanted to prove the point that India got real independence when Narendra Modi formed his government at the Centre in 2014.

The editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said, “the country will never tolerate such insult to Independence which was attained through blood, sweat, tears, and the sacrifice made by countless Indians.” The Shiv Sena has demanded that the Modi government should strip Kangna of all her National awards.

Targeting the BJP, Sena said that Ranaut’s comments have exposed her ‘fake nationalism’. No one in the country, before Kangna, has insulated India’s freedom fighters in such a manner. The Padmashree award, which Kangna has received for her acting in Indian films, is also conferred on the freedom fighters.

The nation is on fire following Kangna’s comments. A huge crowd in Indore burnt the effigy of actress Kangna Ranaut on Friday. The crowds also included the families of the freedom fighters and that they demanded that she (Kangna) should apologize to the entire country for insulting the courage and sacrifice of the freedom fighters.

On the other hand, the Rajasthan Mahila Congress complained about Kangna Ranaut in Churu. Rehna Riaz, president of Rajasthan Women’s Congress said that India was liberated on August 15, 1947, due to the sacrifices of thousands of people. The entire country looks at freedom and its martyrs with respect, but Kangna’s comments are an insult to the freedom fighters.

On Kangna’s comments, Maharashtra BJP President, Chandrashekhar Patil said, “Kangna’s comments on the country’s fight for Independence are completely false. Nobody should make such a statement against the freedom movement”

Varun Gandhi, senior BJP leader was the first to oppose the statement of Kangna Ranaut. Gandhi sarcastically wrote that sometimes an insult to the sacrifice and penance of Mahatma Gandhi, sometimes an honor to his killer, and now an insult to the sacrifices of the martyrs from Mangal Pandey to Rani Lakshmibai, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and millions of freedom fighters. Should I call this madness or treason?.

Apart from Gandhi, the opposition parties are also expressing displeasure over Kangna’s statement. The Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa termed Kangna’s comments as her mental bankruptcy. Taking an aggressive stance, Sirsa tweeted, “How can an actress playing the role of Manikarnika beg for freedom. Kangana Ranaut has insulted the martyrdom of countless Indians by calling India’s freedom in 1947 Bheekh. I request the Hon’ble President of India to reconsider the Honour given to her She must apologize for her derogatory words”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday lodged a complaint with Mumbai police over the statement. AAP’s national executive member, Preeti Sharma called the statement ‘traitorous and provocative’. Preeti Sharma took to Twitter to post two photos – one, of the complaint and another of her handing it to the Mumbai Police. “Submitted an application to @MumbaiPolice requesting action on Kangana Ranaut for her seditious and inflammatory statements on @TimesNow under sections 504, 505 and 124A. Hope to see some action”.

After Kangna’s misdemeanor, there is a big question on the honorees of the Padmashree award that on which ground Kangna was honored with the Padmashree award. Or, was the award given to her for openly opposing Shiv Sena in Maharashtra?. If this is the case then the honor should be given to Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, Raj Thackeray, and Sanjay Nirupam as well, because they were the first to oppose Shiv Sena.

Not only the film industry, the entire nation has been stunned by Kangna’s Padmashree award. It is not an honor for her and people like Adnan Shami to get Padmashree, but an insult to those who have received the award so far. All those who have received Padmashree honors have joined the ranks of Adnan Shami and Kangna Ranaut.

Demand for stripping Kangna Ranaut of her National award is rising from across the country, but the Government won’t act. It is better for the other Padmashrees in the country to return the award in protest of Kangna’s comments on India’s freedom.

Nikhil Shah is a senior journalist in Surat. Views expressed are his personal.