Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut on Saturday defended her comments on India’s freedom and independence and said she’d return her Padma Shri award if proven that she disrespected martyrs, freedom fighters in her recent statement.

The actress has been receiving a lot of heat and criticism for her comments where she said that India attained freedom in 2014 when the Modi-led government came to power and described the country’s Independence in 1947 as “bheek”, or alms.

Ranaut was speaking at the TimesNow Summit 2021 on Wednesday when she made the comments that kicked off a controversy on the Internet with many requesting the Centre to take strict actions against the actress and take back her Padma Shri award which was given to her recently.

On Saturday, the actress took to her official Instagram handle to “set the records straight” and released a statement on Stories where she also shared a snap of an interview from 1857. The actress started off by posting quotations from a book and wrote, “Just to set the records straight…I am not the only one to call congress beggar.”

In her IG Story, Ranaut asked her fans to help her understand which war took place in 1947, saying she will apologize and return her Padma Shri award if she is wrong.

“Everything is very clearly mentioned in the same interview 1857 first collective fight for freedom… along with the sacrifice of greats like Subhash Chandra Bose, Rani Laxmibai and Veer Savarkar Ji. 1857 I know but which war took place in 1947 I am not aware, if someone can bring to my awareness I will give back my Padma Shri and apologize also… please help me with this,” the actress wrote on Instagram.

The actress then talked about doing extensive research on the first fight for freedom in 1857 while filming for ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’. Ranaut also questioned why Gandhi let Bhagat Singh die. “I have worked in a feature film of a martyr Rani Laxmi Bai… extensively researched on the first fight of freedom 1857… nationalism rose so did right-wing … but why it died a sudden death? and why Gandhi let Bhagat Singh die … why Neta Bose was killed and never got Gandhi Ji’s support? why the line of partition was drawn by a white man… ?instead of celebrating freedom why Indians killed each other some of the answers I am seeking please help me find answers,” the actress added.

Ranaut then defended her comment on India’s freedom where she had said that the country got independence in 2014. “As far as Aazadi in 2014 concerned, I specifically said physical Aazadi we may had but consciousness and conscience of India was set free in 2014… a dead civilisation came alive and fluttered its wing and now roaring and soaring high … today for the first time … people can’t shame us for not speaking English or coming from small towns or using made in India products… everything is articulate and clear in the same interview…,” she said.

After Ranaut’s comments went viral, several political personalities reacted with outrage. Maharashtra Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik on Friday demanded that the Centre must withdraw the Padma Shri award from Ranaut for her controversial remarks on the country’s Independence and sought her immediate arrest. The actress received the prestigious award by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on November 8.

Meanwhile, Youth Congress workers in Indore on Friday protested against the same.

Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana on Saturday criticised Ranaut for her controversial remarks and said that it is unfortunate that the Padma Shri has been awarded to someone who insulted the freedom fighters. (economictimes)