Music composer Vishal Dadlani has lashed out at pro-BJP actor Kangana Ranaut for insulting India’s freedom fighters during a programme hosted by Times Now’s Navika Kumar.
Reacting to the controversy surrounding Kangana, Vishal posted a photo of himself attired in a T-shirt bearing Bhagat Singh’s photo. He wrote on Facebook, “Remind the lady who said our Independence was “bheekh”. The man on my t-shirt is Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh, atheist, poet philosopher, Freedom Fighter, son of India, and son of a Farmer.”
The reference to bheek was in response to Kangana’s astonishing claims that Indian freedom fighters had begged for independence from the British rulers. Kangana, who Naseeruddin Shah once mocked her with ‘half-educated starlet’ jibe, had also said that India’s real independence came in 2014 when Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister.
Vishal said, “He (Bhagat Singh) gave his life for our freedom, for India’s Independence at age 23, and went to the gallows with a smile and a song on his lips. Remind her (Kangana) of him, of Sukhdev, of Rajguru, of Ashfaqullah, and all the many thousands of others who refused to bow, refused to beg. Remind her politely, but strongly, so she never again dares to forget.”
Speaking on Times Now, Kangana had said, “Of course, that wasn’t freedom, that we bheek. We got freedom in 2014.”
Ranaut’s disgraceful comments were welcomed by a round of claps from the audience. Even more shocking was Navika’s conduct since she failed to admonish Ranaut for her seditious comments. All she said, “This is why they say you are saffron.”
Times Now had to issue a series of clarifications to avoid reprisals as ministers and members of civil society demanded Kangana’s arrest and action against the TV channel.
“#KanganaRanaut 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 & dignity as free citizens of a democracy,” Times Now had said in its tweet.
But the TV channel faced criticism for issuing an outright condemnation of Kangana’s statement 48 hours later.