India: Actor Kangana Ranaut’s Padma Shri should be “withdrawn immediately”, former Union Minister Anand Sharma has said in a snowballing controversy over her comment that India won true independence in 2014 – when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power – and the 1947 Independence was “bheekh” or charity.
“The Padma Award given to Ms. Ranaut should be withdrawn immediately. Before giving such awards, mental psychological evaluation should be done so that in future such persons do not disrespect the nation and its heroes,” Anand Sharma, Congress leader, said on Twitter, tagging President Ram Nath Kovind.
Calling Kangana Ranaut’s comments shameful and shocking, Mr Sharma accused her of insulting Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Valabhbhai Patel, besides belittling the sacrifices of freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.
The Congress has called the comments “treason”. Several leaders of the party have said she must apologise to the nation and she must be stripped of the top civilian honour.
Many parties have slammed Kangana Ranaut’s remarks at an event organised by television channel Times Now. “That was not freedom but ‘bheekh’, real freedom came in 2014,” she is heard saying on Independence in 1947.