Kangana belittled freedom fighters' sacrifices, take back Padma Shri: Delhi women panel chief to Presidenttext_fields
New Delhi: Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal on Sunday said she had written to President Ram Nath Kovind urging that the Padma Shri awarded to actor Kangana Ranaut be taken back in the wake of her recent comments on India's Independence.
Ranaut stoked a major controversy last week when she said India's Independence in 1947 was not freedom but "bheek" (alms) and the nation "got real freedom only in 2014", a reference to the Narendra Modi-led BJP coming to power at the Centre.
Urging the President to take immediate cognisance of the statement, the DCW chief said the national award-winning actor deserved treatment and not award for disrespecting the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh and the freedom attained through the sacrifice of thousands of others.
In the letter, Maliwal wrote, "Our great freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and countless others have sacrificed their lives to bring freedom to our nation...It was only through these sacrifice and martyrdom that we got freedom from British rule. Ranaut's comments have hurt the sentiments of lakhs of Indians and this statement is seditious in nature."
The DCW chief said Ms Ranaut, "through her insensitive and thoughtless lies", had demeaned and belittled "the sacrifices of millions of Indians who participated" in various movements such as the revolt of 1857, the Champaran Satyagrah, the Khilafat Movement, the Quit India Movement, the Dandi March and the Non-Cooperation Movement among several others.
"How can we forget the thousands who had assembled at the Jallianwala Bagh to protest against British rule and the massacre that followed? Are these chapters in our history a 'bheek'?" Ms Maliwal sought to know.
She also pointed out that it was not a stray incident by the actor and that "Ranaut appears to not be of sound mind".
She further said Ranaut's behaviour was in no way befitting of the recipient of the highest award in the country and was also an insult to the stalwarts who received the awards with and before her.
Ranaut was awarded the Padma Shri earlier this month along with a host of other artists.
Defending her statements, the actor said she was ready to return her Padma Shri if someone could enlighten her about what took place in 1947.