I stand with Sanjay Leela Bhansali: This is an attack on democracy, time Bollywood stirs into actionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/i-stand-with-sanjay-leela-bhansali-this-is-an-attack-on-democracy-time-bollywood-stirs-into-action-4495836/

I stand with Sanjay Leela Bhansali: This is an attack on democracy, time Bollywood stirs into action

I stand with Sanjay Leela Bhansali: Bollywood comes out in support of the Padmavati director after the set of his film was attacked by Karni Sena on Friday.

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I stand with Sanjay Leela Bhansali: Bollywood has come out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali after he was attacked by karni Sena on the sets of Padmavati.

Art and films have always been a platform where an artiste’s desire of practicing freedom of speech and expression is nurtured. Cinema, in general has encouraged our filmmakers to churn out stories that have either been larger-than-life affairs, teleporting their audience into a world of their dreams, or grounded to become the mirror of the society. However, of late, the “targeted attacks” on this very freedom has forced this peace loving industry to stand united and defend its identity.

Also read | Here’s the real reason why Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped, punched. Padmavati is just a small part of it

The broad daylight attack on the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film Padmavati by members of Karni Sena, has ignited the fire yet again. On Friday, when Bhansali was shooting for his Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh-Shahid Kapoor starrer Padmavati at the Jaigarh Fort, he found himself at the receiving end of Karni Sena, who staged an angry protest outside the shooting location, and also ransacked the sets. In a video gone viral, protesters are damaging cameras and other shooting equipment while raising slogans and spewing abuses in Hindi. What has been highly disgusting and left the nation shocked was when the mob slapped and assaulted the maverick filmmaker who was unarmed and at his vulnerable most, in the middle of the shooting.

Watch: Sanjay Leela Bhansali slapped and assaulted by protesters on Padmavati sets in Jaipur



The event turned so ugly that we stand with our heads hung in shame at such an incident in the world’s biggest democracy, the same land which has the world’s biggest film industry and churns out the most number of films every year, thus adding to a major share in the national GDP. But all this for what when filmmakers do not have their right to freely express their ideas on the celluloid, the harmless ideas that are only either informative or for entertainment.

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Karni Sena was apparently not happy with the way Sanjay Leela Bhansali was depicting their Rajput community in Padmavati.

Bhansali has given us blockbusters like Bajirao Mastani, Ram-Leela and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. But he was targeted for allegedly using wrong facts in his film, the same film which is still under production!

This isn’t the first time Karni Sena has attacked a film. Earlier, Ashutosh Gowarikar faced the group’s wrath during Jodhaa Akbar’s shooting. And Gowarikar was among the first to lend support to Bhansali, calling it “shocked and appalling.” It didn’t take time for the entire industry to come out full throttle condemning the incident too. Karan Johar also joined him. After a series of tweets since Friday, KJo wrote something today. “Am exceptionally happy to see the support coming in from members of the film fraternity….#IstandbySLB ….this is time we need each other. And for all those so called protectors of history!!! Have you read the script of the film??? Do you know facts??? So then just SHUT UP!!!!”

sanjay Leela Bhansali
National award winning Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and assaulted by a furious mob in Jaipur on the sets of Padmavati.

Anurag Kashyap, who has also faced challenges for his films in the past, had a hard-hitting response too. “Can once the whole film industry come together and take a stand, and refuse to be a pony that all bullshit and bullshitters ride on?? At the same time Shame on you Karni Sena, you make me feel ashamed to be a Rajput.. bloody spineless cowards .. Hindu extremists have stepped out of twitter into the real world now.. and Hindu terrorism is not a myth anymore,” he tweeted.

Also read | Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan, Karan Johar stand with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. See tweets

It was payback time for Sonam Kapoor too. The actor, who made her Bollywood debut with Bhansali’s Saawariya, took to her Instagram handle and shared an old tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he said “Art can’t have any restrictions or limits.” She asked the PMO to intervene by captioning the picture as “A gentle reminder sir… a couple of days after republic day if we as an industry have to deal with such humiliation for expressing ourselves , it’s frankly very disheartening . Please stand up for us.. #padmavati”

Also read | Sanjay Leela Bhansali packs up Padmavati from Jaipur, vows to never shoot there again

The starcast of Padmavati, Deepika, Ranveer and Shahid also took turns to support Bhansali. Deepika wrote “In a state of shock!deeply saddened and disheartened by yesterday’s events!#Padmavati.” Ranveer tweeted “Whats happened is very unfortunate. We hope the people of Rajasthan will understand & empathise with our intentions & give us their support. Sanjay Sir is one of the most accomplished & authentic filmmakers we have in India, & he wont ever do anything to hurt anyones feelings.As a team, we are making ‘Padmavati’ keeping in mind the sensitivities and emotions of the people of Rajasthan and the Rajput community.”

Shahid Kapoor wrote “Sanjay bhansali is a film maker who the country should be proud of. You will know when u see #padmavati the dignity he brings to it. And my only regret is that I wasn’t by his side when this happened.”

Check out how the industry came out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Padmavati.

Also read | Attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali: Will not allow ‘obscenity’ on land of Rajputs, says Karni Sena chief


Passionately defending its action of vandalising the sets of Padmavati and assaulting Bhansali, the Rajput Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi said, “Will not allow ‘obscenity’ on land of Rajputs.” He asserted that if history and traditions are not respected then nothing but doom awaits them. But point to note is, when this “unknown” outfit is not picking arms against a film, where do they hide and what’s their identity otherwise? Do they think Bollywood is a place to attain some light?