Amidst growing outrage over his comments, BJP sources say that the MP may be forced to apologise for his comments.

Gandhis freedom struggle was an adjustment with British BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde
news Controversy Monday, February 03, 2020 - 17:28
Written by  PTI

In an apparent attack on Mahatma Gandhi, BJP MP from Uttara Kannada, Anantkumar Hedge, known for his bigoted statements, has questioned the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, and described India's independence struggle as an "adjustment" with the then British rulers.

Freedom fighters who did not sacrifice anything made the country believe that it attained independence through 'Upavas Satyagrah', Gandhi's preferred mode of agitation, and became Mahapurush (great person), BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde said at an event here recently.

“None of these so-called leaders were beaten up by the cops even once. Their independence movement was one big drama. It was staged by these leaders with the approval of the British. It was not a genuine fight. It was an adjustment freedom struggle,” he said.

He went on to say that most people believe that India achieved independence because of non-violence and satyagraha. “People keep saying that India got independence because of the fast unto death and satyagraha. This is not true. The British did not leave the country because of satyagraha. Britishers gave independence out of frustration. My blood boils when I read history. Such people become Mahatma in our country,” he said.

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He claimed that those who had an adjustment with the British” were lauded as freedom fighters, while referring to Gandhi’s role in the freedom movement.

"Such people became great people (while taking about Mahatma Gandhi). Those who sacrificed their lives and worked towards big change in the country were dumped in the dark corners of history, but those who fought in adjustment with the British became freedom fighters with certificate. This is the tragedy of the country," Hegde, known for his past controversial remarks on issues like secularism, added.

In his address in Kannada, Anantkumar Hegde went on to claim that there were two types of freedom fighters, one which believed in “shastra (arms)” and another in “shaastra (intellectual motivators)”. “There was also another category of freedom fighters who used to ask the British how to carry out the freedom struggle. We will abide by whatever you say simply adjustment and understanding... like 20-20 (cricket match)," the Uttara Kannada MP said about the freedom movement.

Hegde alleged that the third category of freedom fighters had pleaded with the British to recognise their freedom struggle and requested that they be imprisoned. "They (pleaded with the British) It's enough if you properly take care of us, nothing more than that."

Congress demands apology

The Congress hit out at the ruling BJP on Monday over its leader Anantkumar Hegde's remarks against the Mahatma Gandhi-led freedom movement and demanded a sedition case be filed against him.

The opposition party demanded that the prime minister must come to Parliament and clarify his position on Hegde's "objectionable" remarks, and asserted that it was time for Modi to prove whether his loyalty was towards Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse or the Father of the Nation.

Questioning the freedom movement led by Gandhi, Hegde said it was an "adjustment" with the British.

"They are disparaging the national movement. If the prime minister and the BJP government are sincere about the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, we demand that the PM comes to Parliament and clarifies his position," Congress's senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said.

"They are desperate for elections and only to get some votes, they are inflicting deep wounds on the soul of India," he said.

Asserting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP's statement was condemnable, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the leaders of the saffron party could afford to call the freedom movement a drama as they never fought for the country's independence and made any sacrifices.

"Such statements reveal their true mindset that they use Gandhi's name just for show and have no regard for him," he said.

Demanding Hegde's expulsion from the BJP, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said it was time for the prime minister to prove whether his loyalty was towards Godse or Gandhi.

"The prime minister did not take action against Pragya Thakur, who continues to insult Mahatma Gandhi on a daily basis, and now, Anantkumar Hegde has joined the 'hate bapu' chorus. The prime minister's love for Gandhi exists only in advertisements and on the ground, 'hate Mahatma Gandhi' seems to be the tool to mobilise his cadres.

"If the prime minister has even an ounce of respect for Gandhi, he should remove Thakur and Hegde from the party. It is time for the prime minister to prove whether his loyalty is towards Godse or Gandhi," he said.

Modi should apologise for Hegde's remarks, a sedition case should be slapped on the former Union minister and both Thakur and he should be removed from the BJP, Shergill demanded.

BJP leadership unhappy?

BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde's swipe at Mahatma Gandhi has irked the top party leadership and he may be forced to apologise, party sources said on Monday.

A senior BJP leader said the Karnataka leader's comments were "condemnable" and the party leadership is upset with him.

"The party has conveyed its displeasure to him and asked him to take remedial measure. Any insult to Mahatma Gandhi is unacceptable," he said.

The party leader said the Lok Sabha MP is a "disciplined" member of the party and will do what he has been asked to. Hegde, known for hardline Hindutva leanings, has a history of making controversial remarks. 



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