I agree with Kangana Ranaut’s statement, we were given freedom: Vikram Gokhale
PUNE Prominent Marathi actor Vikram Gokhale said India should never turn “green” with efforts should be made to retain it “saffron”.
Gokhale’s remarks triggered controversy with Congress criticising him for his remarks. “India will always be diverse and cannot be of one colour,” said Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe.
Gokhale came out in support of Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut’s controversial remarks about India “achieving freedom only in 2014 when Narendra Modi became prime minister”, while “1947 was “bheek” (alms)”.
Gokhale, while speaking on Sunday at a function in Pune, said, “I agree with Ranaut’s statement. We were given freedom. Many people were just mute spectators when freedom fighters were hanged (during the British raj). These mute spectators included many senior leaders. They didn’t save the freedom fighters who were fighting against the British,” said Gokhale, adding that every political party, including the BJP, tries to derive benefits from controversies.
On the question about the purported communal violence in Tripura and its echo in Amravati and other cities in Maharashtra, where incidents of stone-pelting had taken place, the actor said communal riots are a result of vote bank politics.
“Every political party plays that (vote bank politics),” he claimed.
Speaking on the political scenario in Maharashtra, Gokhale said former allies Shiv Sena and BJP should come together again for the betterment of the country.
“The BJP and the Shiv Sena should come together again. I had questioned (opposition leader and former Maharashtra chief minister) Devendra Fadnavis about the possible alliance between the two parties on the condition of sharing the post of CM for equal years. Both parties should try to win the people’s confidence. I feel political parties should not deceive people because people can punish them,” said Gokhale, known for his roles in Marathi theatre, Bollywood and on television.
The Shiv Sena heads the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government whose other constituents are the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Gokhale claimed politicians are responsible for the present condition of the MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and Air India.
“I was brand ambassador of the ST. It is a huge entity which operates over 18,000 buses in Maharashtra,” he added.
Thousands of employees of the MSRTC have been on a strike demanding a merger of the cash-strapped undertaking with the Maharashtra government.
Reacting to Gokhale’s remarks about Sena and BJP should come together, former Congress chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the actor should join politics and contest elections rather than make such statements.