Actor Vikram Gokhale (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) has expressed agreement with actor Kangana Ranaut‘s recent comment on India’s independence during the Times Now Summit 2021.
On November 11, at the summit, Ranaut said in reference to the country gaining independence in 1947: “It wasn’t azaadi (freedom) but bheek (alms), and the freedom came in 2014.”
Her comment referred to the year the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power.
While the actor faced widespread criticism for “insulting” freedom fighters and the martyrs of the freedom struggle, Gokhale came out in support of Ranaut.
“I agree with what Kangana Ranaut has said. We got freedom in alms (bheek). It was given. Many freedom fighters were hanged and the big-wigs at that time didn’t attempt to save them. They remained mere mute spectators,” Gokhale reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Ranaut was awarded the Padma Shri for the year 2020 on November 8 and following her comment, several have called for her to be stripped of the award.
The Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the withdrawal of the actor’s Padma Shri and asking that an FIR be registered against Ranaut for sedition.
Congress leader Anand Sharma, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Preeti Sharma Menon, and several others have also demanded that the Padma Shri award be taken back from the actor.
Preeti S Menon also filed a complaint against Ranaut with the Mumbai Police.
Producer Nilesh Navlakha has filed a complaint as well with the Pune Police seeking to book the actor and the channel Times Now under the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Times Now, meanwhile, put out a tweet saying, “Kangana Ranaut may think India got Independence in 2014 but this cannot be endorsed by any true Indian. This is an insult to millions of freedom fighters who gave up their lives so that present generations can live a life of self-respect and dignity as free citizens of a democracy.“
Ranaut has been faced with several complaints in the past for her contentious and inflammatory statements on social media and elsewhere. These include a couple of FIRs registered in Karnataka for her tweets calling farmers, who are protesting against the Farm Bills of 2020, “terrorists,” a complaint that the actor and her sister Rangoli Chandel have made and shared hateful statements against the Muslim community, two complaints registered in West Bengal for her tweets on the aftermath of the Legislative Assembly elections in the state, and a defamation case filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar.