A BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh has announced a reward of Rs 10,000 to anyone who hurls a shoe at filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali for “distorting history.”
Various Rajput organisations have accused Bhansali of distorting history by allegedly showing a romantic dream sequence between Padmavati and Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji in his upcoming movie named after the queen.
Bhansali productions, however, clarified there is no such objectionable sequence in the movie, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
Akhilesh Khandelwal, who is a general secretary of the BJP’s Hoshangabad district unit and chairperson of a local municipal council made the controversial announcement on his Facebook post on Monday.
The post reads, “Sanjay Leela Bhansali ko jootey marney par Rs 10,000 rupiyey inaam. (Rs 10,000 reward to anyone who hurls a shoe at Sanjay Bhansali).”
Speaking to HT over phone, Khandelwal said he was hurt by the distortion of history by the filmmaker and was not apologetic about his reward announcement.
“Playing with our history like this can never be tolerated. And I’m not apologetic about announcing the cash reward”, he said.
Bhansali was assaulted on the sets of Padmavati in Jaipur on Friday by members of a Rajput outfit, Karni Sena. The group accused Bhansali of showing Padmavati in a poor light.
According to historians, Padmavati was a character in Padmawat, a book written by Malik Mohammad Jaisi around 1550, and it has no connection with history at all.
The protests reignited a debate over growing intolerance in the country as Bollywood celebrities and social media railed against the assault on the film’s crew.
“Though I am from Vaishya caste and not a Rajput, but such distortion of our icons hurts every true Indian. How can Bhansali show love scenes between Rajput queen Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji, when the latter had only seen her in a mirror and they never came close”, the BJP leader said.
Khandelwal, who has over 10,000 followers on Facebook, said Padmavati in fact refused to submit to Alauddin Khilji and killed herself, along with other women, before her enemy could siege her fort.
When asked to comment on the controversial announcement, chief spokesperson of BJP’s state unit Deepak Vijawargiya said it was Khandelwal’s personal remark and was not the party’s stand.
“If somebody distorts history and shows women of this country in a bad light and any BJP leader or worker wants to express his concern or show his protest over the same, he is expected to do so in a way that is legal and doesn’t break the law of the land”, he added.