DCW chief writes to Prez Kovind urging Kangana's Padma Shri be taken back
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.
Maliwal 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.
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.
Recalling a number of chapters in the country’s freedom struggle, including the revolt of 1857, Khilafat movement, Champaran Satyagrah, Quit India movement, Maliwal said the Bollywood actor belittled many more such historic events.
“How can we forget thousands who had assembled in the Jallianwala Bagh to protest the British rule and the massacre that followed? Are those chapters in our history a bheekh?” she further wrote to the President.
Maliwal said this was not a stray incident and Ranaut did not appear to be in sound mind as she habitually spewed venom against people of her own country. “She repeatedly used vile language to attack those she does not agree with,” the DCW chief said.
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.
Politicians across the spectrum, including BJP member of Parliament Varun Gandhi, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, have criticised Ranaut for her statement.
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.