Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati won’t be releasing on December 1. While the production house Viacom 18 said in a statement that it voluntarily deferred the release, the controversies surrounding the magnum opus starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh, is probably the biggest reason behind this delay. Shabana Azmi called for unity in Bollywood citing that artistic freedom was under threat, however, Madhur Bhandarkar doesn’t seem pleased with her.
Taking to Twitter, the Fashion director asked the veteran actress why she was quiet when his film Indu Sarkar was facing similar threats. Bhandarkar wrote that he was concerned about the threats Deepika got but felt sad over Azmi’s ‘biased approach’.
Set in the backdrop of 1975 Emergency, Indu Sarkar was the story of a speech-impaired poet, played by Kirti Kulhari, and her battle with the authorities. Several Congressmen demanded a ban on the film and staged violent protests for showing Indira Gandhi in an ‘objectionable’ light. They even alleged that the movie was sponsored by the BJP. After a lot of hue and cry, the movie released on July 28.
Bhandarkar’s tweet on Padmavati row shows that he is upset over how Indu Sarkar did not get a similar support from within the industry. Here is his tweet:
@AzmiShabana ji I am equally concerned about threats to @deepikapadukone and SLB over #Padmavati however I feel sad about your biased approach. I would have appreciated similar support from you when I was being violently threatned by Congress workers over my film #InduSarkar
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) November 18, 2017
Shabana Azmi has been quite vocal about controversies surrounding Padmavati. Shabana Azmi in a recent interview said that Rajput Karni Sena was replicating the mindset of Taliban groups. A few days ago, she tweeted that Bollywood should boycott the upcoming IFFI film festival in Goa in protest.
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) November 18, 2017
Padmavati has become one of the most controversial movies of this year. Outfits like Rajput Karni Sena staged protests all over the country against the movie, claiming that the movie showed an intimate sequence between Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati and alleging that the movie distorted historical facts. Things went a tad too far when a Rajput community in Meerut announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The All-India Kshatriya Mahasabha (ABKM), reportedly, announced a reward of Rs 1 crore to anyone who would burn Deepika alive.
The outrageous comments against Padmavati made many members of the film fraternity furious. Here are a few tweets:
So SLB should show the film to those who threaten to have him beheaded? And get their approval?
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) November 19, 2017
Shocked!!! This is not protesting this is threatening. If this was a sportsmen or an important businessman being threatened…I wonder what would have happened? https://t.co/q0jDHha7RA
— Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) November 19, 2017
— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) November 19, 2017
And as far as #Padmavati is concerned I wish it is the biggest hit ever as that would be the befitting rejoinder to all these loony threats!
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) November 19, 2017
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) November 19, 2017
Filmmaker Shyam Benegal said,
Else, isn’t it the job of government to prevent (threats of) murders and attacks when being made publicly on national TV? People are being threatened publicly.
The makers have still not announced the new release date.
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