Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Ram Gopal Verma, Anurag Kashyap and Madhur Bhandarkar along with actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor have expressed their anger after Rajput Karni Sena workers created ruckus and vandalised the sets of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati in Jaipur. In a series of social media posts, they stressed the entire film fraternity should come together and take a stand.
Bhansali was slapped and assaulted on Friday by members of Karni Sena who staged an angry protest at Jaigarh fort in Jaipur where Bhansali was shooting for his next, Padmavati. In a video that has gone viral, protesters are seen running amok, damaging cameras and other shooting equipment while raising slogans and spewing abuses in Hindi.
Favouring the National Award winning director, the Kaabil actor took to Twitter and said, “Mr Bhansali , Sir. I stand with you. This is so infuriating!!!!”
Coming out in defence of the Bajirao Mastani director, Johar tweeted, “Am appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali....this is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity!!”
“Having been through many instances of turmoil during a film shoot or release...I understand Sanjay’s emotion at this point...I stand by him,” he added.
Describing the recent attack on the noted filmmaker as condemnable, Bhandarkar on Saturday said that acts like these are highly shameful in a country like India.
The ace director, who is known to make films based on ground realities said, “Attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali is condemnable. I strongly condemn the shameful attack.”
Akhtar tweeted, “My fellow film folk, if we do not unite now against these recurring incidents of bullying, it’s going to get much worse.”
Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani on Saturday said that if a stringent action is not taken against the goons of moral ethnicity, the tourism of Rajasthan will soon begin to die. He further said that it’s not something new that such incident has happened in Rajasthan, as the people over there file court cases by merely watching the teaser of a film.
The CBFC chairman said, “If the government doesn’t wake up now and take strict measures against such happenings, the Indian cinema industry will begin to wither. People should have patience to wait and judge a film by watching the whole film rather than creating a ruckus by merely watching the teaser.”
Veteran actor Raza Murad also said the incident is extremely disheartening and called on the government to take strict action against the guilty. Venting out his anger, the actor said, “Seeing all this, I feel the film industry should open a censor office in every corner and send their script for approval to every party. Otherwise the same thing will happen time and again. I am amazed by all this.”
“There is something called law and order. Who so ever feels like just targets the film industry and its actors. Why do we need Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) if there is a censor board in every nook and corner. There is no space for violation in a democracy. This has to end. The entire film fraternity must come together and the government must take stern action. Otherwise it all seems to be a jungle raj,” he concluded.
Taking stand of Bajirao Mastani director, Varma took to Twitter and wrote, “Bhansali is an artiste and if any country cannot protect its artistes from street hooligans it doesn’t deserve to be called a country.”
Expressing concern, director Anurag Kashyap also took to twitter and called for the entire film industry to come together and take a stand and “refuse to be a pony that all bullshit and bullshitters ride on”.
Neerja actress Sonam came out in support to voice her concern and tweeted, “What happened on Padmavati sets is appalling and heinous. Is this the state of the world.”
Below are some tweets supporting Bhansali after the Jaipur incident:
I condemn attack by goons on #SanjayLeelaBhansali. It is unfortunate & shameful. But to give it a communal angel by some is equally shameful— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) January 28, 2017
Am appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali....this is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity!!— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) January 27, 2017
Having been through many instances of turmoil during a film shoot or release...i understand Sanjay's emotion at this point...I stand by him.— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) January 27, 2017
Thoughts of what has transpired with Sanjay Bhansali today are just not leaving me!! Feeling helpless and angry!! This cannot be our future!— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) January 27, 2017
Yes!! Attacking a filmmaker and his right to free voice is no answer !!! So called historian and moral police!!! Disgusting!!!! https://t.co/BgIxT8doXi— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) January 27, 2017
My fellow film folk, if we do not unite now against these recurring incidents of bullying, it's going to get much worse. #IstandbySLB— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) January 27, 2017
Mr. Bhansali , Sir. I stand with you. This is so infuriating!!!!— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) January 27, 2017
Did random people enter another persons workplace n raise their hand on him because dey decide dey don't like what he does? I am enraged!!!— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) January 27, 2017
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??— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) January 27, 2017
At the same time Shame on you Karni Sena, you make me feel ashamed to be a Rajput.. bloody spineless cowards ..— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) January 27, 2017
What happened on Padmavati sets is appalling and heinous. Is this the state of the world.— Sonam Kapoor (@sonamakapoor) January 27, 2017
Several other actors and filmmakers condemned the attacks and asked for action against those who abused Bhansali. Here are what some actors and filmmakers have to say:
Saif Ali Khan: “I think it’s shocking and disgusting and really scary. I also think you should be asking the Prime Minister what he thinks should be done about this not us actors who are quite irrelevant. And the legality of these so called political parties should be questioned and they should be arrested. The politicians we vote for should be explaining how this kind of thing can happen. We can say what we like how does it make a difference? I think we are a minority. As in our intellectual views and political views concerning freedom of speech and expression.”
Onir: “It is alarming that this is happening and ironically a day after the Republic Day. Today as an artist we find ourselves bring targeted constantly And our freedom of expression snatched. Earlier this used to happen at time of release now it’s come into the sets. Truly a worrisome development. The entire industry is with Bansali n the entire group responsible for this shameful act should be banned n punished.”
Bipasha Basu: “Disturbing as hell. They have to be held accountable for this scary act. It’s pathetic.”
Rahul Dholakia: “I think we as an industry have to defend ourselves and I urge all filmmakers of all kinds to support and speak up for any film person that is targeted by these thugs. You never know, tomorrow it could be you!”
Rajkummar: “It’s very shameful and disgraceful. I really hope that whoever is responsible for this gets punished and such inhuman acts should unanimously condemned.”
Swara Bhaskar: “This is horrifying and shameful in every which way and totally indefensible. A sad reflection of how INTOLERANT our society is becoming... I am sorry to say but the BJP led govt and its consistent inaction in bringing such vigilante violence to book has emboldened the crazy Hindutva fringe and thus we are seeing these repeated assaults on liberals and artists in India. How will any truly worthy cinema or art ever thrive in India if our artists are answerable to every illiterate violent freak and are vulnerable to such violence.”
Sajid Khan: “Hooliganism and violence is not the answer. Any issue can be resolved by talking and discussing. What happened with Sanjay Leela Bhansali was very unfortunate.
The protesters manhandled the ace director and alleged that the film has love scenes between Queen Padmini and ruler Alauddin Khilji, played by actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
The Karni Sena claims that Padmini was a proud queen known for taking her own life rather than submit to Alauddin Khilji, the emperor who attacked the Chittorgarh Fort.
Padmini committed Jauhar or immolated herself with scores of other women as Alauddin Khilji waited to conquer the fort and claim her.
The Rajput Karni Sena has demanded that Bhansali should delete such scenes in the film, if any.
(With inputs from Yashika Mathur)
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