Veteran actress Shabana Azmi has said dissent in a democracy is fine but people should not get violent and take the situation in their hands. The 66-year-old actress, who was addressing a session here along with filmmaker Aparna Sen, said if the law and order is disturbed then the state governments should take the initiative to control the situation.
“Freedom of expression will automatically ensure dissent in a democracy. And dissent in art is a fundamental right. But if it is dissent about a book, a piece of art, and if you don’t like it, you have the right to express your views outside the theatre but you cannot create law and order situation. Then the state has to step in,” Azmi said.
Alluding the attack on director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of “Padmavati”, the actress said such protests are at times done to get momentary fame.
“How much of the film is really offending people and how much of it is manufactured? Because 10 people can get up and say this film offends them and have TV cameras on them. They get their moment of fame.”
Azmi said if a state government is willing, they can control any violent protest if it happens post the release of a film.
“If a film faces protest after being certified by the censor board by extra-constitutional groups and if the state wants to be in charge, (of the situation) it can.
“Remember after the Babri Masjid demolition and riots there were the Mumbai blasts but there was no incident after the blasts. It was because the state had decided no violence would be tolerated,” she said.
Azmi will next be seen in Sen’s directorial venture Sonata.
Also read: Sonata trailer: Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen, Lillete Dubey show the other side of mid life crisis. Watch video
Echoing Azmi’s views, Sen said, “The state has to take responsibility in controlling law and order problem.
” Actress Lillete Dubey, who is playing one of the three female protagonists in Sonata, said “Can anyone put limit to freedom of expression!”
The actress wondered if those protesting against Bhansali’s film had read the script.