Bengaluru, Feb 2, 2020: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and former union minister Anantkumar Hegde has attacked Mahatma Gandhi, calling his freedom struggle “drama”. Speaking at a public event, the six-time Lok Sabha member from Uttara Kannada said the entire independence movement was staged with the consent and support of the British.
“None of these so-called leaders were beaten by the police with batons even once. Their independence movement was one big drama. It was staged by these leaders with the approval of the British. It was not a genuine fight. It was an ‘adjustment’ freedom struggle,” he said.
Hegde ridiculed Gandhi’s hunger strikes and satyagraha, also terming them “drama”. "These Congress people keep saying that we got independence because of the fast unto death or satyagraha. That is not true. The British did not leave India because of satyagraha,” he said.
The MP also said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor, had nothing to do with Gandhi’s assassination.
The Karnataka BJP distanced itself from Hegde’s statements, saying it doesn’t approve of what he has said.
State BJP spokesperson G Madhusudhan said the RSS holds Mahatma Gandhi in high esteem and won’t support such “cheap” remarks.
Former Karnataka minister and Congress MLA Priyank Kharge said Hegde was trying to be in the limelight by making such offensive statements.
“He is no longer a minister. He is out of circulation. He is now trying to impress Prime Minister Modi by talking nonsense,” he said.
Karnataka Congress spokesperson VS Ugrappa tore into the BJP leader for his comments, saying he should be sent to a mental hospital for talking like this.
Hegde, who was skill development minister in the 2014-19 Modi government, is not new to controversies. Last year, he sparked a row by calling Congress president Rahul Gandhi a “hybrid product that can be found only in Congress laboratory”. He said Gandhi claims to be a Brahmin “despite being born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother”. A few months later, he called former IAS officer S Sasikanth Senthil a “traitor” and asked him to “go to Pakistan”.