Well, intolerance is at its peak these days. The intolerance debate which saw opinions pouring in left, right and centre surely didn’t expect a Sanjay Leela Bhansali magnum opus would add another feather to its abhorrent cap!
The film in question Padmavati is about a fictional queen in the epic poem Padmavat by the 16 century poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi.
Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone nad Shahid Kapoor play the lead roles in the lavish production.
Hindu groups and Rajput caste organisation allege that the movie depicts an intimate romantic scene between the two characters (Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji)
This according to them is nothing less than a sacrilege and they can go to any extent to stop the film from getting a conventional release. From beheading threats to calls for burning down theatres where the film will be screened, we have seen and heard it all!
This sort of outrage has sparked a debate amongst the media and the film fraternity about exercising their creative right. The situation has snowballed into a lot of conversations centred around the freedom of expression. There have been constant rallies and media interactions that the industry stalwarts have been holding from time to time to opinionate against the way things are.
Today (26 November) the film and television fraternity had united once again, against the hooliganism that is so rampant. They stood together in unison to protest against the bullies who resort to the undignified way of arm-twisting creative content of films and television.
TellyChakkar thought it would be an add-on if we could get in touch with actors, writers, directors to know about their individual take on the matter.
Here’s what they had to say – Read on!
Raj Singh Arora – Actor: I support this completely. Whatever is happening is utter rubbish holding Art and our right to freedom of expression and speech to ransom. Who are these goons anyway? If you have a problem with the film don’t watch it but what RIGHT do you have to not allow me to watch it. I stand in complete solidarity with the filmmaker and the film industry. This nonsense needs to STOP.
Rajen Upadhyay – Writer of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma: A film is a medium of art and entertainment. One should view a film like a film. There should be a reason to ban a film or protest against it. IF you are protesting against a film without even seeing it, you are wrong. I don’t understand the reason behind this high handedness especially when the censor board is there in place and the judicial system is there in place.
Amit Aaryan – Writer ace comedy show F.I.R and other comedy shows: Whatever is happening is not good. As a writer, director and film-maker, I feel we must protest. This is Karni Sena but there is one Valmiki Sena too. This is the case in films. I remember, when I was writing Lapataganj on SAB TV, there was a line which stated that Valmiki was a dacoit. That is something which is written in the Ramayana and the Mahabharat. For that one line, I had a case registered on me and I had to go through a lot because of their demands. Everytime I was called to Punjab for the hearing. So I have also faced such issues. Yes, this is a step because we are here to entertain the masses. We have a responsibility to make sure that we do not hurt the sentiments of the masses but when you haven’t seen the film how can you claim that your sentiments have been hurt and threaten to behead others. Whatever be the case such things should not be encouraged.
JD Majethia – IFTPC chairman TV- Wing: Generally speaking, there aren’t any guidelines on either side . Advance censorship of content and for people who surpass the law and speak and behave in unlawful manner against the approved content. Be it films or TV I feel there should be guidelines which people can abide by. Historical and mythological are sensitive subjects so there can be a committee of literate historians and worthy makers from the industry. Once they approve the content then NO ONE in the country should be allowed to stop it. It will be a little longer process but will help avoid situations like we have today for Padmavati.