Keeping the controversy cauldron bubbling, actor Kangana Ranaut on Tuesday claimed Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh got no support from Mahatma Gandhi and went on to mock his mantra of ahimsa by saying that offering another cheek gets you “bheekh” not freedom.
In making the “bheekh” comment, Ranaut wound the clock back to last week when she described India’s Independence as “bheekh”, or alms, and declared that freedom came in 2014 when the Narendra Modi-led government came to power.
In a series of posts on Instagram, Ranaut this time targeted Mahatma Gandhi and said “choose your heroes wisely”.
The “Manikarnika” actor, still in the eye of the proverbial storm for her comments, on Tuesday shared an old news clipping headlined “Gandhi, others had agreed to hand over Netaji”. The report claimed that Gandhi, along with Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, came to an agreement with a British judge that they would hand Bose over if he were to enter the country.
“Either you are a Gandhi fan or Nataji supporter. You can’t be both… Choose and decide,” Ranaut, whose Twitter account has been suspended, captioned the news clipping.
In another post, Ranaut, who has courted many a controversy with her incendiary and provocative statements, then claimed, “Those who fought for the freedom were ‘handed over’ to their masters by those who had no courage burning/boiling hot blood to fight their oppressors but they were power-hungry and cunning.”
She then went on to target Gandhi, even claiming that there was evidence suggesting he wanted Bhagat Singh to be hanged. “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 Aazadi. That’s not how one gets Aazadi, one can only get bheekh like that. Choose your heroes wisely(sic),” the 34-year-old actor said.
The actor said that it’s about time people know their history and their heroes. “… Because just placing them all in one box of your memory and every year wishing them all birth anniversaries is not enough in fact it’s not just dumb but highly irresponsible and superficial…,” she added.
Ranaut’s “azaadi” statement at an event organised by a news channel last week came two days after she was presented the Padma Shri by President Ram Nath Kovind.
She has been under attack ever since with politicians from across the spectrum, historians, academics, fellow actors and others lashing out at her for her views and many saying she should return her award.
On Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar trashed Ranaut’s statement, saying that such comments are only made for “publicity”.
“How can anyone publish this? We should not even take notice of it. Should we even pay attention to it? One should not give importance to such statements. In fact, it should be made fun of,” Kumar said. However, she got support from veteran Marathi actor Vikram Gokhale on Sunday.