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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

‘Pretty low and sick’: Swara Bhaskar responds to Vivek Agnihotri’s tweet on her Padmaavat criticism

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri has asked Swara Bhaskar to meet rape survivors in Bastar to “understand how real vagina feels like”. Swara, who has faced criticism after her open letter on Padmaavat, has called his tweet “sick and low”.

bollywood Updated: Jan 31, 2018 14:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Swara Bhaskar has objected to the glorification of jauhar in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat.
Swara Bhaskar has objected to the glorification of jauhar in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat.(AFP)

Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar, who is currently at the centre of a controversial debate over her open letter to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali for making her feel “reduced to a vagina” with his latest film Padmaavat, has been reacting to most of the vile tweets that have come her way ever since the letter was published. Now, she has responded to filmmaker and member of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Vivek Agnihotri’s tweet.

Padmaavat, which released amid violent protests on January 25 after months of controversies, features Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmini, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji and is based on the 13th century poem by Malik Mohammad Jayasi, Padmavat.

In his response to Swara’s letter published on Sunday, Vivek tweeted, “We have interviewed many ‘ex-naxal’ women in Bastar. Each has gut-wrenching stories to tell, full of abuse, rape and misogyny If they marry, they aren’t allowed to have children. I think fake feminist @ReallySwara must make a trip to understand how the Real Vagina feels like.”

“What women need to understand that it’s because of the fake feminists like @ReallySwara that the feminist movement gets jeopardised. You just can’t piss off people and win the most critical war of modern times - the gender empathy,” he added.


Reacting to the tweets, Swara wrote late Tuesday, “I’m sorry did u just suggest that i go get myself raped?????????? Like seriously? You typed out this tweet Vivek... ????? I’d say pretty low and sick even by your own abysmal standards of conduct & civility.”

Earlier in the day, Swara had told the news agency ANI, “Everybody has right to express opinion. I kept my views in a very polite manner & had no wrong intentions. I put forward a few legitimate questions. I didn’t expect so much chaos just because I used a word which starts with ‘V.”

She also clarified her intention behind writing the letter in an interaction with the Indian Express, “I haven’t spoken to him (Bhansali) about this. The letter I wrote was in the format of an open letter. I wrote it through a publication. Because this film has become a national talking point, it has become a part of national conversation. And I want to remind you all who are having fun on its expense that I was among those voices, who constantly supported Padmaavat. We have spoken about this before. I have constantly spoken against Karni Sena. I have spoken for the right of Viacom, Sanjay sir and the whole team of Padmaavat. It’s not only their right but every artiste’s that whichever story he or she wants to tell, they should be able to do that in a protective environment.”

She reiterated that she has supported the film and its makers ever since Karni Sena began the protests but added that she only wanted to be part of the national debate that surrounded the film, after its release. “I have time and again condemned the violence that the team of Padmaavat had to face. So, obviously I don’t have any bad intent. Once a film releases, it is there for public consumption, and because this movie is so important, it has raised so many other issues in our society. I wanted my questions to be a part of that national conversation. So, just because of this, I published this letter on a public platform,” Swara added.

In her open letter to the filmmaker published online on Sunday, Anarkali of Aarah star slammed Bhansali for “glorifying jauhar” in his period drama. “Women have the right to live, despite being raped sir. Women have the right to live, despite the death of their husbands, male ‘protectors’, ‘owners’, ‘controllers of their sexuality’.. whatever you understand the men to be. Women have the right to live — independent of whether men are living or not. Women have the right to live. Period. Women are not only walking talking vaginas,” she wrote in her letter.

While singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthy took offence to the way Swara voiced her opinion, most Bollywood celebs, including filmmakers Imtiaz Ali and Rohit Shetty, have said she has the right to her own opinion, though they insisted they did not find anything objectionable in the film.

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First Published: Jan 31, 2018 13:00 IST

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