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Padmavati controversy: From Salman Khan to Anurag Kashyap, here’s how Bollywood is standing up for Deepika Padukone starrer

Padmavati is receiving a lot of support from the Bollywood fraternity. Rajkummar Rao, Karan Johar, Javed Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar, and many others are supporting Sanjay Leela Bhansali's vision.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 19, 2017 1:36:44 pm
padmavati gets celebrities support Padmavati is gaining a lot of support from Bollywood fraternity.

Padmavati, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film has been mired in controversies for almost a year now but the controversies have escalated massively in the last one month. With organisations thretening to cut of the lead actor’s nose to the director traveling with security, the film is facing a lot of protests around the country. The film is scheduled to release on December 1.

Various Bollywood celebrities, including Salman Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Prakash Raj, Rajkummar Rao, Karan Johar and many others, have come forward in support on Bhansali’s Padmavati.

Actor Shabana Azmi took to Twitter and wrote, “This is exactly like HKL Bhagat and Congress celebrating IFFI in Delhi after the murder of Safdar Hashmi in 1989.Cultural Annihilation”. Azmi further said that the entire film industry should boycott the film festival against the threats that Bhansali and Deepika Padukone are being subjected to. Her tweet said, “The entire film industry should boycott IFFI in protest against the threats to @deepikapadukone SLB and #Padmavati.”

Director Anurag Kashyap questioned, “Don’t people get arrested for openly threatening to behead somebody ??”

Swara Bhaskar, who has never shied away from expressing her point of view in any matter whether politics or films, wrote on Twitter, “The row, death threats & public display of violent abuse over the FICTIONAL story of a FICTIONAL queen wud be funny & ironic if it hadn’t been a dangerous sign of how normalised communalism has become in our public consciousness #Padmavati”

“We r not going to be held ransom by a minuscule group of goons who even threaten murder over a film.its not the voice of the nation.Never forget the majority of the country believes in sanity, and the rule of law #padmavati #SLB @deepikapadukone” wrote director Gauri Shinde.

Anurag Basu wrote, “I can understand the desperation!! Karni sena n other protesters wiill face huge existential crisis post the release of #Padmavati so they are trying to juice out maximum.”

Actor Rajkummar Rao, who is currently promoting his web series, Bose: Dead/Alive told, “More we talk about it, the more mileage we are giving to those people who want this. People who are creating violence, who haven’t even watched the movie and are unaware of its content are creating ruckus only to get attention. And, by talking about it, we are serving their motive. I think all of it should be left to the law and we as filmmakers should continue making films without worrying about controversies.”

Director Hansal Mehta who has made films like Shahid, Citylights and Aligarh amongst many others echoed Rajkummar’s thoughts on the subject and told, “All those people who are making this noise are yet to see Padmavati as it hasn’t released in the theaters. And this noise happens when there is ignorance and people are not aware. I think when people will watch this story only then they will realise its value.”

Hansal Mehta Rajkummar Rao reacts on Padmavati controversy Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao share similar opinion about the Padmavati row.

Salman Khan, who has worked with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Khamoshi: The Musical (1996) was completely supportive of the director who is known for his epic sagas. Salman said, “I believe that the censor board should take the decision. Sanjay makes very beautiful and nice films. His movies never have vulgar and disgusting content. Keeping in mind his past records one should get a sense that he cannot portray anyone in a bad light.”

Actor and director Farhan Akhtar does not shy away from talking about controversial subjects and he too was quite vocal when it came to the ongoing Padmavati row. “I am totally against anything being banned. I genuinely believe that we should stop treating our audiences as children. It is important for the development of any nation that there are viewpoints, that are not always in agreement with the majority. We as a film industry are dependent on the CBFC to tell us what is okay and what is not okay. We have accepted that. Beyond that, it is up to the I&B ministry and the government to protect the films and filmmakers. It’s time for the film fraternity to come and stand together on these issues. We are a really small industry, so if we don’t come together then no one will do for us,” said Farhan.

Poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar said that films should not be treated like history classes. “Stories get created. Don’t misinterpret films for history and history for films. You watch cinema and enjoy it. If you are interested in history, then read it seriously,” said Javed Akhtar.

Filmmaker Karan Johar, who faced a lot of backlash during the release of his 2016 film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil showed support for Bhansali by saying, “I have faced a lot of controversies before the release of a film. I feel bad for a filmmaker, who is one of the best in the country. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has made a beautiful film and I hope he is protected by the people who understand that creativity is a form of expression. I think we should trust and believe him and give this film all the love.”

Actor Sidharth Malhotra who is still enjoying the success of his latest, Ittefaq, also supported Sanjay Leela Bhansali, “If you see the kind of movies Sanjay Leela Bhansali has made, they are respectful, artistic and have nothing offensive about them. So, I feel it is unfair that you comment on a film without watching it. Only censor board has that right (to comment on a film). As an industry, we are hoping the film gets a good release and people are able to watch the film and then decide.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar who faced some controversy during his last release, Indu Sarkar, supported Bhansali’s vision and condemned the way he was being threatened, “People should first watch the film, I condemn all these threats. Only the Censor Board has the authority to decide on a film. I understand how a director feels when after all the hard work one gets such threats.”

Actor Arjun Kapoor who will next be seen in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, tweeted about the Padmavati row saying, “Yet again a man has to justify creativity because politics & propaganda creates an ugly environment. He’s a fantastic filmmaker his vision must be trusted. I’m sure Rani Padmavati & her story will be depicted with respect by him & @RanveerOfficial @deepikapadukone @shahidkapoor”

Actor Sushant Singh, who had stood up for Bhansali after his sets were vandalised earlier this year, also came out in support once again saying, “We are tired of fighting for freedom of speech.”

Veteran actor Vikram Gokhale questioned the democracy of our system by saying, ” Are we living in a democratic world? If there is no liberty, why should we make a film?”

Filmmaker Shyam Benegal also supported Bhansali, “When Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) certifies a film to be shown all over the country, it means the movie should be allowed to release. The government cannot support the people who do not want the film to be shown. Instead, support those who want to show the film. The government has to stop people who are creating a ruckus for the film to be shown because what they are doing is illegal.”

Former CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani appealed that the protests against Padmavati must stop. “Bhansali is a sensible and best technician in the industry. He knows that he is bringing Indian culture in front of the world. He has always promoted Indian culture and people have liked it. There has been controversy in each of his films. Why did people not protest earlier when movies were made on Padmavati? Were the Rajputs not this concerned? These protests must stop,” he said.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit condemened the attack on Bhansali by saying, “Entire entertainment industry is under siege today, we are being terrorized, accused, beaten and abused. Threat warnings are being issued to creative people that we will decide what is to be made. This is cultural terrorism.”

Veteran actor Prakash Raj tweeted about the status of Padmavati along with Marathi film and Malayalam film S Durga and raised the question of intolerance. He tweeted, “To whomsoever it may concern, One wants to cut a wants to behead an artist.., One wants to shoot an actor down… and the system wants to remove certain films from a film festival in spite of being selected by a jury, And you want us to believe that there are no acts of intolerance ..?, silencing voices.. ?terrorizing ..?…..#justasking”

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra was very vocal that an attack on a filmmaker is an attack on freedom to make films. “CBFC can take a call on the film. The protestors haven’t even watched the film. Attack on Bhansali is an attack on freedom. This is very stifling. When it comes to the interpretation of history, you can disagree with him, but at least allow the film to release. By asking for a ban, you are creating an atmosphere where nobody will attempt films on Indian history,” he said.

Related: Padmavati row: Here’s the timeline of all the controversies that have surrounded the film

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