NO FREEDOM AT ALL
Last week, we spoke about how the industry and the folks in the I & B Ministry need to come together and work together to show some sense of unity in the ﬁlm industry. But the events in this past week and especially in the last couple of days have left a real bad taste in a lot of mouths in the industry.
Whatever is happening to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming feature PADMAVATI is absolutely shocking to say the very least. First a group of people entered the set of the movie and vandalised the whole thing even getting their ﬁlthy hands on the ﬁlmmaker and physically assaulting him. Imagine being one of the most celebrated ﬁlmmakers of the country and then you have to go through something so traumatising. SLB however did not let this deter his spirit and he went ahead and ﬁnished ﬁlming the movie.
The bone of contention at that time was that somehow this fringe outﬁt assumed that there was a ‘romantic dream sequence’ in the movie about Padmavati (character Deepika Padukone is playing the movie) and Khilji (character Ranveer Singh is playing the movie). While the ﬁlmmaker, the international studio backing the project and the actors of the movie who I’m assuming were the only ones who had access to the ﬁlm’s script denied this sequence repeatedly. Still the fringe group continued their protest throughout the year. A few weeks back when the trailer of the movie was released the fringe group gained momentum.
Seeing the kind of free publicity the local party had garnered many other small local and fringe political parties have joined hands with the initial protest and this small and ﬁerce ﬁre is now a burning inferno which is threatening to take down a whole industry’s freedom of speech and expression.
How on just an unfounded hunch this whole thing has been blown out of proportion! I genuinely feel because of two reasons. One, our frankly spineless media houses pan India are just giving these publicity hungry folks a platform to honestly speak any amount of garbage they feel free to talk. From calling for the ﬁlmmaker’s head to physically harming the actress of the ﬁlm to bounty being set on their heads, our spineless media houses for their own TRPs are going all out to get the next exclusive. While for the second reason, I truly believe that the world and their aunts all know how fragmented our industry is from within. We are hardly ever standing to each other and hence time and again we keep becoming cheap targets for these people. Growing up, I was always told that India is a country crazy about the movies and cricket. Now that I’ve actually grown up I’m certain that this country’s actual favourite pastime is to simply get offended and ﬁling PILs. Please for the love of the art this is the time the industry needs to show their true grit and togetherness or else we will time and again keep getting bullied like the way we are getting bullied now!