Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut is so no stranger to making controversial remarks on social media and her latest comments have landed her in hot water (again). A police complaint has been filed against the actor after she called the Sikh community “Khalistani terrorists” in her Instagram Stories.
According to India Today, Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa has filed a case against Ranaut for her remarks made via Instagram Story after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi repealed controversial agriculture laws that farmers had been protesting against for more than a year. Most of the farmers were from the Sikh-dominated state of Punjab and their protest drew support from their families and friends living overseas.
Sirsa is the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, which said that Ranaut had “intentionally” and “deliberately” portrayed the farmers protest as a “Khalistani movement”, according to a source cited by India Today. The complaint against Ranaut was filed at the cyber cell of Delhi’s Mandir Marg Police Station under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code which punishes deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. The complaint described the remarks as “vicious, malicious and derogatory”.
In her Instagram Stories posted on November 21, the actor said that “Khalistani terrorists may be arm twisting the government today but let’s not forget one woman [Indira Gandhi]”. “The only woman prime minister ne inn ko apni jooti ke niche crush kia tha [The only woman prime minister crushed them beneath her shoe],” she said.
“No matter how much suffering she caused to this nation she crushed them like mosquitoes at the cost of her own life. Lekin desh ke tukde nahi hone diye [but didn’t let the country break into pieces]. Even decades after her death aaj bhi uske naam se kaampte hai yeh inko vaisa he guru chahiye [even today they tremble at her name, they need a guru like her].”
She also added: “With the rise of Khalistani movement, her story [Indira Gandhi’s] is more relevant than ever.”
Ranaut is referring to when then PM Gandhi ordered a raid on the Sikh faith’s holiest temple, the Golden Temple, in 1984 to crush a separatist revolt seeking an independent homeland for Sikhs called Khalistan. Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for the order.
The Gurdwara committee, in a statement, said the actor used “derogatory and insulting” language against the Sikh community. “[She] further dubbed the Sikh community as Khalistani Terrorists, and recalling the massacre and genocide that happened during 1984 and earlier, as planned and calculated move on part of [late former prime minister] Indira Gandhi,” the statement alleged.
According to The Hindustan Times, the committee also wrote to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, requesting him to withdraw the Padma Shri, [conferred on Ranaut] as she was “spreading communal hatred, targeting a religious community, and insulting farmers and freedom fighters”. The Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the country.
President Sirsa said that Ranaut “does not deserve this honour”. “She does not represent the spirit of India which is based on harmony and goodness for all. Considering the social sentiments, Padma Shri should be withdrawn from her immediately for insulting farmers, Sikhs, and freedom fighters,” he said.