Amid a series of protests in the past few days the film Padmavati has grabbed quite a few eyeballs stoking the fire for a political vendetta. While a chunk of the literati and the cerebral millennials have come forward in favour of the film, a significant number of protests have emerged from the political and intellectual circles.
Despite all the slander and negative showdown thrust upon the film’s cast and crew, it would be hard to believe that the film won’t garner any success at the box office at all (which normally has become the success formula for any Sanjay Leela bhansali film).
Among a series of protests which caused a raging controversy on the film one of the most outrageous remarks was the announcement of a bounty of 10 crores for beheading Sanjay LeelaBhansali and the protagonist Deepika Padukone.
It’s pathetic to come across such archiac views in this era of space science and digital democracy, when the rest of the world is reveling at the thought of liberal speech and portrayal of art. As if the attacks on the film by the fringe elements was not enough, the film has ended up as an “Indian Pie” for politics.
Different states have come up with mixed reactions on the film. While Punjab and Haryana have banned it due to its alleged distortion of history and portrayal of Rajput community in bad taste, states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have allowed the screening of the film only “after necessary cuts”.
It was the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who lashed out the ongoing controversy against the film Padmavati calling it “unfortunate” and stifling of “freedom of expression.
Blaming the political parties for trying to gain undue mileage out of the issue she said, “The Padmavati controversy is not only unfortunate but also a calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves. We condemn this super emergency. All in the film industry must come together and protest in one voice,” .
In a surprise reaction the film fraternity from the BJP in Bengal also have hit out against the bounty threats made by Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu, to behead the director and actor of the film.
Union Minister Babul Supriyo, parliamentarian George Baker and BJP leader Locket Chatterjee have expressed their sharp criticism in the matter. Babul Supriyo blurted, “No matter what the issue is, no one has the right to take the law and order in their hands. Like with any other film, it’s the CBFC’s right to call the shots.”
Popular TV soap actor and parliamentarian George Baker called the threats absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable in this era. He continued by saying, ” how can one make such comments relevant from 1000 B.C in the year 2017 .
BJP leader Locket Chatterjee also condemned the threats calling them “illogical”. In her view, “an actor gets an honorarium to play a role, how can threats be issued in her name? Leave alone the actor such threats should not be issued against any one.” However both Chatterjee and Baker blamed Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for inappropriate announcement of the release of the movie before it received the certification from CBFC.
In Bollywood circle mega stars like Amitabh Bachhan, Amir Khan, Kamala Hassan and Shahrukh Khan have also come out in support of the film and its crew.
It seems that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has got just the right opportunity to launch her salvo against the BJP led centre ahead of the Gujarat elections, where BJP is already preparing for a face off against the Congress.