We have re­gressed as a na­tion: Deepika

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE - NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Deepika Padukone, who plays the ti­tle role in San­jay Leela Bhansali’s “Pad­ma­vati”, said on Tues­day that “noth­ing can stop the re­lease of this film” even as over 50 ac­tivists of Ra­jput Karni Sena van­dalised a cinema hall and a mall in Kota for screen­ing the film’s trailer.

Com­ment­ing on the up­roar that the film has trig­gered, Deepika told IANS in an in­ter­view, “It’s ap­palling, it’s ab­so­lutely ap­palling. What have we got­ten our­selves into? And where have we reached as a na­tion? We have re­gressed”.

Sev­eral of her Bol­ly­wood col­leagues came out in sup­port of the film on Tues­day. The only peo­ple we are an­swer­able to is the cen­sor board, and I know and be­lieve that noth­ing can stop the re­lease of this film...this is not about Pad­ma­vati... we’re fight­ing a much big­ger bat­tle

Ra­jasthan home min­is­ter Gu­lab Chand Kataria told newsper­sons, “We can’t stop any­one from protest­ing against the film. How­ever, we won’t al­low any­one to do it un­law­fully”.

Deepika added, “The only peo­ple we are an­swer­able to is the cen­sor board, and I know and I be­lieve that noth­ing can stop the re­lease of this film,” the ac­tor said, adding that the film in­dus­try’s sup­port sym­bol­ises how “this is not about Pad­ma­vati... we're fight­ing a much big­ger bat­tle”.

This is the third film that Deepika is do­ing with Bhansali. “I feel proud to be a part of this film, and to tell this story, which needs to be told. And it needs to be told now,” she said.

This is not the first time Deepika has re­acted strongly to the vi­o­lence and threats over ‘Pad­ma­vati’. Last month, af­ter a ran­goli ded­i­cated to the film made by an artist was van­dalised in Surat, she tweeted, “Ab­so­lutely heart­break­ing to see the re­cent at­tack on artist Karan and his art­work! Dis­gust­ing and ap­palling to say the least!”

Tag­ging Union in­for­ma­tion and broad­cast­ing min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani, she added in the se­ries of tweets, “Who are these peo­ple? Who is re­spon­si­ble for their ac­tions? For how long are we go­ing to let this go on? Al­low them to take law into their own hands & at­tack our free­dom & right to in­di­vid­ual ex­pres­sion time & again!? This has to stop NOW & ac­tion must be taken!”

Ac­tor Sal­man Khan backed Bhansali say­ing that go­ing by his pre­vi­ous track record, “one should know that he will never por­tray any char­ac­ter in bad light”. In an in­ter­view to a TV chan­nel, he said: “I want to say that you

AFP

Ac­tor Deepika Padukone

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