‘You have no clue, read history’: Tharoor on Kangana’s 'bheekh' remark
Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, has hit out at Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut for taking snide digs at Bapu’s mantra of ahimsa, while Congress leader Shashi Tharoor advised her to read history saying she “has no clue” when talking about India’s freedom struggle.
Refusing to back down despite the backlash against her for saying India’s freedom was a ‘bheekh (handout)’, Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut continued to target the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Posting old articles against Mahatma Gandhi on Instagram, she urged people to choose their “heroes wisely”.
Besides accusing Gandhiji of not supporting Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh, and handing them over to the British, she said mockingly, “It is these freedom fighters that taught us that if someone slaps you, offer another cheek for one more slap and that is how you will get azadi. That’s not how one gets azadi, one can only get bheekh like that,” she said.
Tushar Gandhi hit back. He pointedly replied that turning the other cheek takes more courage than “Gandhi-haters” can fathom. In an article titled ‘Turning the other cheek requires more courage than Gandhi-haters can fathom’, he wrote, “Those who allege that Gandhians only turn the other cheek and are, therefore, cowards cannot understand the courage required to be so brave. They are incapable of understanding such heroism. But we must not forget.”
Turning the other cheek is not the act of a coward, he asserted. “It takes a lot of courage, and Indians of that time displayed it in abundance. They were all heroes, the cowards were those hanging on to the coattails of their masters, the ones who did not bat an eyelid before submitting pleas for mercy and clemency to the crown for personal benefit,” Tushar wrote.
To Ranaut’s insinuation that Gandhiji and Nehru did nothing for Netaji, Tushar laid out the facts. Nehru, along with a battery of Indian lawyers, accepted the legal brief to appear for the INA soldiers in court. “If the pseudo patriots had studied history even a little, they would have saved themselves the embarrassment of being caught lying,” he wrote in the article.
Meanwhile, Bapu made a pardon for them a precondition for negotiations with the Cabinet Mission that was to initiate a transfer of power. “He did not beg; he demanded. And the allegation that he collaborated with the British to hand over Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, if he came to India, is too hilarious to respond to,” he said.
Tushar Gandhi went on to conclude that Bapu would welcome being labelled a beggar. “For the sake of his nation and its people, he did not mind begging. He applauded being dismissed as a “half-naked fakir” by the British prime minister. Ultimately, the British Crown surrendered to this fakir, who India now dismisses as a beggar,” Tushar Gandhi said.
But Tushar went on to lament that no matter how loud the lies get and how faint the voice of truth seems, truth sustains; lies have to be kept alive with a continuous progression of more lies.
“Some of the lies being shouted out these days need to be responded to,” he wrote. “But no matter how many times we, who know the truth, repeat it, the liars will keep at it. They do so to hide the fact that the founders of their ideology did not lift a finger to save the revolutionaries while they themselves were firmly ensconced in the laps of their British masters,” he said, as reported by India Today.
On Kangana’s remark that Independence in 1947 was bheek, Tushar Gandhi dismissed the statement by saying, “It demeans the courage and sacrifice of thousands of freedom fighters”.
Meanwhile, Anita Bose, the daughter of Subhas Chandra Bose, in an interview to India Today, said the relationship between Gandhi and Bose had been a difficult one. “On the one hand, Gandhi could not control my father, but on the other hand, Gandhi realised Bose was also a great admirer of him,” she pointed out. Bose was always eager to know how Gandhiji reacted to his speeches in Germany or to whatever he did.
On Kangana’s version of India’s independence struggle, Bose said that it was a very one-sided way of looking at India’s freedom struggle.
“All of the leaders were fighting for the same goal, they just did not agree on the way to go about it. Nehru was hedging and not siding with one or the other, and finally decided to side with Gandhian supporters. All of them were great heroes and I think it was a combination of factors that led to Indian Independence. It was not as if only non-violent actions got Independence, Netaji and INA too played their role. But Gandhiji was one of the most inspiring figure for Indians and Netaji,” said Pfaff.
Tharoor, in an interview to NDTV, was quoted as saying on the Kangana controversy: “I think she needs to read history a little bit. I don’t think she has a clue, unfortunately, if she really thinks that Mahatma Gandhi was going out with a begging bowl when he was a man of tremendous pride who told the British your law is unjust, I am breaking your law. Punish me as you wish… I’ll take your punishment. Is that the act of a beggar?”
“I mean, it is ridiculous for her to even talk like that about the freedom movement involving begging from the British when in fact it was an act of tremendous courage, moral rectitude, and great fortitude in handling and the strength that these people needed to show,” the Kerala MP added.