Jaipur: Bollywood is furious and actors and filmmakers are demanding action against protesters who assaulted veteran filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of his film Padmavati in Jaipur on Friday.
Mr Bhansali was slapped and his hair was pulled at the Jaigarh Fort by members of the Rajput Karni Sena who stormed the film sets and vandalised equipment. They allege that the film shows much-celebrated Rajput queen in poor light. Padmavati, a historical drama, is based on the story of Queen Padmini, who famously refused to submit to emperor Alauddin Khilji when he arrived at the Chittorgarh fort with his army and killed herself along with scores of other women before he could storm the fort.
The protesters allege that the film has love scenes between Queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, played by actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
The Rajput Karni Sena has demanded that Mr Bhansali delete such scenes in the film if any. “We had warned the filmmaker against presenting wrong facts. When we came to know about the shooting, we gathered there and protested,” said a leader of the group, Narayan Singh.
The Jaipur Police has been quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that Mr Bhansali has decided to stop filming in the area. “The filmmakers have assured that they will not shoot here and will pack up,” senior police officer Anshuman Bhomia told PTI.
Fellow filmmaker Karan Johar said he is appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali. “This is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity,” he said.
“The film industry has to abandon its politics of silence, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said on Twitter, adding, “Silence is now tantamount to betrayal”.
Actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar said there was enough evidence and he is waiting to see how many people are punished for what happened to Mr Bansali and his crew. “This is mockery of democracy. “My full support to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the crew.”