All of Bollywood is horrified and shocked by this latest news of Sanjay Leela Bhansali being assaulted on the set of his film Padmavati in Jaipur on Friday. The shooting was going on at the historic Jaigarh Fort when the unfortunate incident happened. The sad thing is this vicious assault is being given a communal angle.
Members of the Rajput Karni Sena, an organization that wants to protect its lineage, thronged the film set, apparently slapping and manhandling Mr. Bhansali as well as the crew members and vandalizing the equipments on the set. They even filmed the incident on their cell phones. Their reason for creating the ruckus is that the film distorts history.
Padmavati is based on the story of Queen Padmini, who killed herself before Emperor Alauddin Khilji could arrive at the Chittorgarh Fort with his army so she wouldn’t have to submit to him. According to the Protestors, the film shows love scenes between Queen Padmini (Deepika Padukone) and Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) and that they should be deleted as this perpetuates a false story.
What that leaves us wondering is: are films supposed to be purely fictional pieces for entertainment purposes and even if a film borrows from history, isn’t there a clear disclaimer in the beginning stating the same fact. What has added further fuel in the fire is Rajasthan’s Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria’ s statement that states that “it is natural to be angry”. Attackers can be seen in the video and five people were even detained by the police but since no complaint was filed, they were let off. So much for India being the oldest Democracy, when a filmmaker can’t depict his creativity in a piece of work without being viciously attacked, you cannot call yourself a free nation.
Since the incident, Bollywood has shown solidarity for the director demanding strict police action.