Violent Threats Not Acceptable: VP On Padmavati Controversy

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New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said violent threats and obstruction of filmmakers were unacceptable in a democracy and urged those opposing the release of film “Padmavati” to protest peacefully and lawfully.

Speaking at a literary festival in New Delhi, Mr Naidu said there was now “a new problem over some films where people feel that they have hurt the sentiments of some religions or communities” and that has led to protests, reported.

He said while protesting, some people go overboard and announce rewards. “Whether these fellows have that much money or not, I doubt. Everyone is announcing Rs. 1 crore rewards. Is it so easy to have Rs. 1 crore?” he said.

“This is not acceptable in a democracy. You have the right to protest in a democratic manner, go to the appropriate authorities…you cannot physically obstruct and can’t give violent threats. Let us not undermine the rule of law,” he said.

Stressing that he was not talking about a particular film but in general, Mr Naidu read out names of previously banned films like Haram Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka and Aandhi. “You have no right to take laws into your own hands. At the same time, you don’t have the right to hurt the sentiments of others,” Mr Naidu said.

Naidu said that no matter if one agrees or disagrees with the freedom of expression and the freedom of press, the debate should be allowed to go on.