Padmavati row: Rajamouli, Karan Johar, Taapsee Pannu extend support to Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Similar to the January episode when Sanjay Leela Bhansali was attacked and the sets of his upcoming period drama Padmavati was vandalised in Jaipur, the filmmaker has received support from all quarters of the Indian film industry after another set of the film in Kolahpur was torched by a group of 50 to 60 unidentified men.
Filmmaker Karan Johar, a self-confessed fan of Bhansali's work and a victim of a similar case of arm twisting last year, condemned the incident and expressed his fears as a filmmaker.
News 18 quotes him as saying, "It's deeply saddening to me as a filmmaker, as a human being, as a citizen of our prestigious and wonderful country that we have to endure something like this. My thoughts, my support and all my ideologies are with Sanjay. Everytime I read something like this, it deeply saddens me."
"The Producers' Guild is in support of Sanjay and his entire cast and crew. And I hope that adequate measures can be taken to prevent something like this from happening again," said Johar at the trailer launch of SS Rajamouli's war epic Baahubali 2: The Beginning.
Rajamouli also echoed the same opinion at the event. The Times of India quotes him as saying, "I completely agree with Karan on that. Any artist, be it a filmmaker or a musician or a writer or anyone else, should have the freedom to express themselves. We don't even know what Mr Bhansali is going to present. Even if the film's content is not in tune with people's thoughts, he should be able to express his views. Freedom of speech is one of the fundamental rights of this country. Any artist should be able to express their views."
Shahid Kapoor, who is part of the star cast of Padmavati, condemned the attack as well. "I am not aware of is who has done it. It is unfortunate that something like this has happened for the second time. As soon as there is some more clarity, the production house will respond to it,"said Kapoor, as per a report by The Asian Age.
Manoj Bajpayee also came out in support of Bhansali.
Bollywood Life quotes him as saying, "It is disturbing not because the set belonged to Sanjay Leela Bhansali or Padmavati; it is disturbing because it has been happening frequently. If it is happening frequently then it shows that the tolerance level of many of the segments is going down."
His Naam Shabana co-star Taapsee Pannu shared similar thoughts. The same report quotes her as saying, "The whole Meryl Streep incident that happened when she spoke, a lot of people from the media questioned our actors on why we don’t have an opinion, why we don’t speak out. If we say anything, stones are pelted at our house. We are the ones in danger, we need security after that. That didn’t happen to Meryl Streep. Before even Padmavati is complete all this is happening, just imagine once it is complete."
Bengali filmmaker Aparna Sen also condemned the attack. News 18 quotes her as saying, "I think it's shameful that a director's freedom of expression is being curbed in this manner. Who are these so called moral guardians of Hinduism? The incident showed a great lapse on the part of administration. When you are in governance you have to control these elements in society. It is part of your responsibility."