Padmavati gets Shatrughan Sinha felicitated by Bihar's Rajput Karni Sena. This is not a drill

Shatrughan Sinha chooses to be with Rajput Karni Sena on the Padmavati issue, gets honoured for his support. Here's why this is problematic

Reality is truly stranger than fiction. Veteran actor and BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha has been felicitated by the Bihar wing of Rajput Karni Sena for not lending support to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati. A picture doing rounds of media shows Shatrughan Sinha holding a portrait of Rani Padmini, with the members of the group.

For those who don’t remember, Shatrughan Sinha had tweeted a few days ago asking A-list actors including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Aamir Khan to break their silence on the issue. In the same tweet, Sinha had also urged PM Narendra Modi and I&B Minister Smriti Irani, to do something about the raging issue.

In another tweet, Sinha had said he would speak only after director Sanjay Leela Bhansali does and only when ‘he’s spoken to’:

Also read: Padmavati row: The problem with pitting Shabana Azmi’s feminism against Kangana Ranaut’s feminism

Reports suggest that Shatrughan Sinha slammed the filmmaker for organising a private screening of Padmavati for select media outlets, at the felicitation ceremony Sinha, is reported to have said, Bhansali went back on his promise to first show the movie to Rajput outfits.

The smiling picture of Shatrughan Sinha as he accepts the ‘honour’ has made it clear whose side he is on. By supporting the fringe group, Sinha has put the film fraternity in a tight spot.

Shatrughan Sinha with members of Rajput Karni Sena in Patna (Courtesy: IANS)

Shatrughan Sinha with members of Rajput Karni Sena in Patna (Courtesy: IANS)

Since January, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum-opus has been embroiled in controversies one after the other. With states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar opposing its release, and movie’s release being deferred, the issue has been politicised way too much. On one hand, where a few political leaders are fiercely opposing the release, announcing bounties to please Rajputs for their votes, on the other hand, we have prime-time debates on news channels on the issue.

Deepika Padukone in Padmavati, Padmavati | Courtesy: YouTube still | Photo created for

Also read: Padmavati row: The deafening silence of A-list Bollywood stars

During these trying times when Bollywood needs to stick with each other, a veteran actor lending his support to fringe groups doesn’t help the cause. While many appreciated Shatrughan Sinha calling out to PM Narendra Modi to speak up on the Padmavati issue, he has only forced people to doubt his intentions (read political motivations) by sharing the same stage with a group which has been breaking laws and threatening movie stars with life.

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