Adding fuel to the controversy surrounding the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bollywood movie Padmavati, Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday attacked Bhansali and threw a challenge to filmmakers to make films on ‘other’ religions, adding that “we will not tolerate this anymore”.
“Does Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anyone else have the guts to make films on other religions or comment upon them? They make films on Hindu gurus, gods and warriors. We will not tolerate this anymore,” Giriraj Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.
Earlier on Saturday, Union Minister Uma Bharti said in an open letter that artists cannot violate historical facts in the name of freedom of expression. “Jab aap kisi aetihaasik tathya par film bannaate hain toh uske facts ko violate nahin kar sakte (You cannot violate facts if you are making a movie on a historical event,” Bharti said in an open letter.
Speaking further on acid attacks, Bharti said the perpetrators of such crimes, to her, appear to be descendents of Alauddin Khilji.“Aaj bhi mann chaaha response nahi milne par kuch larke, larkiyon ke chehre par tezaab daal dete hain. Woh sab kisi bhi dharm ya jaati ke ho, woh mujhe Alauddin Khilji ke vansaj lagte hain (Even today, if some men do not get their desired response, they throw acid on the women’s face. No matter which religion or caste they belong to, I consider them as descendants of Alauddin Khilji).
Bharti had shared the open letter on social media and said that the story of Rani Padmavati has been read by all in history and it is a historical fact. She said in her letter that Khilji, who was a barbarian, desired Padmavati and that is why he destroyed Chittor. She said Padmavati’s act of Jauhar is something “we have read in history”.
“Abhivyakti mein kahin toh ek seema hoti hai. Aap behen ko patni aur patni ko behen abhivyakt nahi kar sakte (There are certain limits to freedom of expression. One cannot portray someone’s wife as their sister or vice versa),” she said in her letter,” adding, “Instead of making this a political issue, people should find a way to address the apprehensions being raised on the film and end the matter.”
The film starring actors Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has seen protests by some members of the Rajput community who have tried to stop the shooting and release of the movie. The protesters allege that the movie portrays an amorous relationship between the Rajput queen Padmavati and Khilji. The protesters claim the filmmakers have distorted history through this portrayal.