BOLLYWOOD RALLIES BEHIND PADMAVATI
Five industry bodies call for a shutdown to protest against curbs on creative freedom
A DAY after Sanjay Leela Bhansali agreed to screen Padmavati for a special committee to assuage certain right-wing outfits’ fears regarding the “distortion of history”, there is a new twist to the tale. Having fought a lone battle so far, he has found support within the industry.
Five bodies from the film industry — Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) along with Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), Western India Cinematographers Association (WICA), Screenwriters Association (SWA) and Association of Cine and Television Art Directors & Costume Designers along with Allied Union Mazdoor — have announced a shutdown on November 16 at Film City in Goregaon as a mark of protest against the curbing of creative freedom. All shoots at the suburban studio will be halted for 15 minutes from 4pm. The members will also hold a rally to show their solidarity for Bhansali.
At the press conference held in the city yesterday, members of the said organisations also made an appeal to information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani and home minister Rajnath Singh to ensure a smooth release of the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer.
IFTDA president Ashoke Pandit said, “It is shocking that a filmmaker like Bhansali is heckled and abused. We have come together for freedom of expression for filmmakers. It’s high time the government took necessary action.”
Reacting to how certain outfits including the Rajput Karni Sena have sought a ban on the film, director Sudhir Mishra said, “The CBFC should have the final say. No one has seen the film, so how can they come to a conclusion?” Actor Vikram Gokhale said the uproar by right-wing outfits is “a mockery of democracy”. “Why do we need to take permission from a fringe group or a political party? The audience can form their own judgment.”
Still from Padmavati; (left) Filmmakers at the press conference yesterday; (below) Sanjay Leela Bhansali