A leader of the Aam Aadmi Party has filed an application with the Mumbai police against actor Kangana Ranaut after the actor claimed that India attained freedom in 2014 and what it got in 1947 was "alms." The Manikarnika actor, known for provocative and often inflammatory statements, was once again the centre of debate and ire with politicians across the spectrum, including BJP MP Varun Gandhi, among the host of social media users and others who reacted with outrage for her comments at an event on Wednesday evening.
In a 24-second clip that has gone viral on social media, Ranaut says India's Independence in 1947 was not freedom but "bheek" (alms). "And we got real freedom in 2014," she said at the event organised by a new channel with some people in the audience heard clapping. Ranaut, who was recently given the Padma Shri, was apparently referring to the BJP coming to power in 2014.
BJP's Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi shared a video of Ranaut's remarks on his Twitter handle and slammed her. "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 said in his tweet in Hindi.
People can never forget the infinite sacrifices of our freedom movement and the millions of lives lost and families destroyed, he added. Belittling it all in this shameless manner cannot be condoned simply as a careless or callous statement, he said.
"Sometimes an insult to the sacrifice and penance of Mahatma Gandhi, sometimes showing respect to his killer and now this disdain for the sacrifice of millions of freedom fighters from Shaheed Mangal Pandey to Rani Laxmibai, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and others... Should I call this kind of thinking madness or treason?" the Lok Sabha MP asked.
Kangana, whose Twitter account has been suspended over such similar remarks, hit back on Instagram.
"Even though I clearly mentioned 1857 revolution first freedom fight which was curbed... which lead to more atrocities and cruelties from the British and almost a century later freedom was given to us in Gandhi's begging bowl... Ja aur roo ab (Go and cry now) (sic)," she said in her Instagram stories.
Ranaut had also targeted the Congress in her remarks at the show. "If we get freedom as a 'bheek', is it even freedom? What the British left behind in the name of Congress... They were the extension of the British..., she said.
Aam Aadmi Party submitted an application to the Mumbai Police on Thursday, demanding that a case be registered against the film actor. AAP's national executive member Preeti Sharma Menon termed the remarks “seditious and inflammatory."
“The AAP strongly condemns the derogatory statement made by Ranaut- claiming that India's independence of 1947 was "bheek" and not real independence,” Menon said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Menon said they have submitted an application to the Mumbai Police, requesting action against Ranaut for her "seditious and inflammatory statements," under Indian Penal Code Sections 504, 505 and 124A.
Actor Swara Bhasker, who also shared the video clip on her Twitter page, wondered about those who were heard clapping at Ranaut's comments.
"Who are the idiots who are clapping is what I want to know," wrote Bhasker, who has worked with Ranaut in the "Tanu Weds Manu" film series and has been a critic of the actor.
Without naming the actor, badminton player Jwala Gutta wrote, "What do you call a person who only spews venom when she/he opens their mouth!!! Just curious!!"