LET’S GET OFFENDED
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum- opus ‘Padmavati’ has been in controversies ever since the film’s shoot started. The film that is set to release on 1st December, 2017 has been in tangle and few organizations in our nation feel that some scenes in the movie misrepresent Indian history. Even after the filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhanshali has assured that there is no scene in the movie that misrepresents Indian history. Despite that, the anti – Padmavati movement has escalated and spread across several parts of India. This kind of baseless and injustice act is causing disturbance to the film fraternity and also makes us wonder if we are living in the democratic country. We spoke to industry members and asked them – what are their opinions on the entire controversy surrounding the film.
Censor board is the ﬁnal authority and they should take the last call about what should be done with the ﬁlm ‘Padmavati’. The government and the censor board should be in favor of the ﬁlm and let the ﬁlm release that’s what I feel. And Bollywood industry always stands for such things, even during ‘Udta Punjab’ we stood for that and same goes for ‘Padmavati’. The law and order has to be taken care by government, we will support the ﬁlm emotionally and the way we can. The last call should be the government and we should respect that.
I feel that censor board should take the ﬁnal call on this ‘Padmavati’ issue going around. And the ﬁlm should be released not because of any other reasons but censor board should let the ﬁlm release as they are the ﬁnal authority. Even when I was hounded with Congress party nobody from the industry supported me neither via tweet. So this duplicity and double standard has to go, I stood for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, ‘Udta Punjab’ and also for ‘Padmavati’ but none stood for me. So industry should stand united for all such issues and they aren’t which is sad.
It should be given the liberty. Basically it’s our violations of rights to see if someone decides what I may watch or may not watch it’s violation of my rights also. If I want to see a ﬁlm and I could not see then it’s a violation of my rights. Basically these people who are protesting they don’t care about anything but little publicity and because the media is giving them the publicity they are at it. They are on the TV all the time making an issue; everybody is giving them the publicity because of this issue. How can you judge a movie without watching it? No one has seen the ﬁlm or read the script but everybody has an opinion about it. I feel one should watch it ﬁrst and then judge how the movie is, whether there is anything wrong in it?
I think this is a new form of terrorism and the way people are reacting and it’s a total silence on all the political class people on the industry being attacked. It’s not an attack on Sanjay Leela Bhanshali; it’s an attack on the entire Film Industry and Entertainment Industry. So if we don’t react now and the political class of people doesn’t react now then this will become a regular process. Now we cannot make ﬁlms the way we want to make them; there is an undeclared emergency on ﬁlmmakers which is quite rigorous for all of us. It’s not only to ﬁlms, it will be for television now, it will be for your plays, and it will be for any creative aspect. So it a very dangerous time and I think and I hope that something right is being done and the ﬁlm should be released on time without any delay and it should be released all over and all the state governments should see to it that the ﬁlm is there in theater and it is their responsibility to take care of law and order it’s not our responsibility. The entire entertainment industry is under siege and the total silence of the political dispensation of this country is more shameful.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a very accomplished and a very sensible ﬁlmmaker. He will never hurt anyone’s sentiments whatsoever. I have high regards and respect for him as a ﬁlmmaker, his talent and as a personality. So what the respected Rajputs are trying to do by harming various malls, venues, coming out with rallies is completely unfair. I support my industry and I support the ﬁlmmakers. With time, things will fall in place and people who are doing such activities will realise what they are doing are not right as a cause. Because their test and demands completely don’t work. And Sanjay Leela Bhansali from being attacked on the sets and his ﬁlm getting into the controversy of release is completely unfair. I don’t support it at all and irrespectively if I wasn’t a member of the ﬁlm fraternity, I would still not support. I support every man who is trying to take India ahead in whatever manner whatsoever. A ﬁlmmaker has all the rights to express his thoughts and ideas and above all there is censor board who is appointed by the government of India to look after such matters. So just a couple of people cannot decide and take action a ﬁlm or any such product whatsoever. One cannot come up and say they want to ban anything, for this there are certain bodies appointed who will take care of it and decide what needs to be done. I’m sure the broadcasting ministry will step into this and give back to the various people who are trying to create this animosity and negativity.
With all due respect to Sajay Leela Bhansaliji who has always made perfect and extraordinary movies like ‘Ram Leela’, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and again its ﬁction drama and I like ﬁction drama. I was the producer of ‘Khuda Gawah’ and that was also a ﬁction drama. Now a day’s controversy which includes this particular casteism and opposition, and they have already closed Gujarat, Rajasthan and now they are planning to close Mumbai. So all this is not a good indication and before anything goes wrong while releasing; he should settle down with these people. And see what the objection is because nobody has seen the ﬁlm. He should let two-three leaders see the ﬁlm and let them decide. If this is done then it will be safer because nowadays no one can afford any loss or damage. We see the theaters are shutting now and Eros which works great if that will shut suddenly then we can imagine what will happen. Things are not working in our favor because we don’t have any super hit movies. In this year there were not so good movies so this time is very critical time. I am observing whereas other people are also observing and then let’s see ultimately what happens because the ﬁlm has not gone to the censor so what is happening I don’t know.
MILAP ZAVERI Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a legend and a genius who always shows Indian culture in the most brilliant way possible. He should be supported by one and all. India is a democracy and once the CBFC passes the ﬁlm, no one should have the right to disrupt the peaceful release of the ﬁlm.
The main point is, there is a ﬁlm made by a ﬁlmmaker whether it is a big ﬁlm or a small ﬁlm, if a ﬁlm is made by a ﬁlmmaker, he has the right to make a ﬁlm the way he wants to. The only person has the right to stop the screening of the ﬁlm is the censor board, no other government, no other body, no other political party, no other organisation has the right to come and show you the ﬁlm. Why should anyone show them the ﬁlm; I mean what kind of democracy are we living in? And if the ﬁlm industry succumbs to it, the more we get into the deeper hole. And I personally feel if everyone comes together and says to stop this nonsense because if it’s happening with Sanjay Leela Bhansali today it might happen to somebody else too. When my ﬁlm was on standby the CBFC, I had a huge support from the director association and all the known directors who came and supported the ﬁlm. I feel people who think its wrong should come out and stand for the ﬁlm ‘Padmavati’. Apart from the industry the government should come and try to mediate and stop these things to happen. I’m against any kind of illegal stoppage of any work of art. I mean it takes years for a ﬁlmmaker to make a ﬁlm, it takes years for it to think about something and I don’t think anyone will make a ﬁlm to get into a controversy; nobody does that, everyone wants to make a ﬁlm to be recognised and to get the money they have put in. Plus the basic criteria for making a ﬁlm so I think this entire thing of saying all this is done for controversy is not true; who is doing this for controversy is the people who are trying to stop it.
Let’s start banning every movie for the fact that someone or the other has a problem with it, what we would be left with? Will be left with no art and no movies in our lives, only protestors. I understand that some people can have problems with a content of a ﬁlm for a variety of reasons, we all do, but we write about it in on social media, we write reviews, and we talk about it to our friends, to stop others from watching something and see that it gets banned; who am I to decide for everyone else?