One has to be living under a rock if they are not aware of the ongoing debate in the nation over the right to freedom of speech being sacrosanct. The film and issue, in question here, is “Padmavati”.
Like many news channels, and writers, I too believe that such an outrage against the director, his film and the star cast is disgraceful. In fact, as long as the Karni Sena was protesting against the film release alone, I believed that it is a part of the same string of protests led by extremist groups, who are either unable to comprehend the creativity of the makers or are simply petrified by the thought of facing the harsh truth. But after reading the announcement of the ₹10 crore bounty to the one who beheads Bhansali and Deepika by a BJP Leader, intolerance has reached a whole new level.
Some people believe that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is using this controversy to make his movie a commercial success, but I think that that’s the most bizarre idea ever! “Padmavati” would have any way glued the viewers to the screen, so his film doesn’t need this kind of publicity.
In fact, the fear that Karni Sena and some leaders have incited in the viewer’s mind with their venomous comments is likely to affect the box office collection exorbitantly. This is not the first time a movie or a show belongs to the genre of historical fiction. In fact, a show called “Chittor ki Rani Padmini ka Johar” was based on the great courage of Rani Padmini. I wonder why the Karni Sena didn’t come out on roads and protested for protecting the dignity of their queen during its release.
Judging the whole movie from a two-minute trailer, is a talent only the protesters have. For there was nothing detrimental in the trailer itself for the public. However, it evidently came across as an opportunity for fringe groups to harness immediate media attention.
Despite all the unnecessary tumult caused, my faith in the citizen and institutions remain unscathed. I believe that these violent protests will be pacified and Padmavati will set another example of the right to expression prevailing over the dogmatism of a bunch of people, just like other movies in the past have.
Sadly, this entire uproar over the film’s release will certainly leave a scar in the mind of the cast and crew of this movie and also in the minds of others wishing to do similar work.
For us it is merely a controversy, for news channels, it is yet another hot topic to glitter their news screens, but for our film fraternity which already lags way behind foreign cinema concerning quality and grandeur, it is a barricade on their creative mind and improvisation. The right to freedom of speech and expression is sacrosanct as long as even a single person doesn’t take offence to it. Ironical, isn’t it?