Sanjay Leela Bhansali opens up on Padmavati row: 'Mewar will be proud of my film'
Following vandalism on the set of his upcoming period drama in Kolhapur, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has issued another statement (this is the second time he has had to justify the intentions with which his film Padmavati is being made). His statement starts off by clarifying that Padmavati is a film that every Indian would be and should be proud of.
Speaking to the Bombay Times, Bhansali has said, "My team and I have carefully researched every aspect of information available on Rani Padmavati for making the film. There was never any alleged romantic scene, dream sequence or imaginary song between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji in the script. I repeat, there NEVER was and NOR is there any such scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji."
He further adds that his team has clarified multiple times that there is no scene between the two characters, and that the violence that his sets have seen is unjustified.
He says, "As an artist, I too believe in the freedom of expression, but I'm also aware of the responsibility that comes along with this freedom. We do not intend to hurt the sentiments of any community and can confidently say that Mewar will be proud of the film. My team and I have met with some of the Rajput leaders, who, upon receipt of our clarification, have agreed to support us and have also signed our letter and promised cooperation in support of the making of the film. I hope this puts to rest all the misconceptions regarding the film"
Earlier this year, a set of the film in Kolhapur was torched and burnt down by local activists. A statement from the team revealed, "The sets of Padmavati in Kolhapur in Maharashtra region witnessed an unfortunate incident, when certain miscreants attacked the film’s set and set it on fire in an attempt to damage the property. A complaint has been filed to investigate this matter further, but we are grateful that there has been no loss of life or harm to anybody on the set. While, thankfully the incident occurred after we had wrapped our shoot for the day and all the artists, cast and crew were safely away; unfortunately, around 70 – 80 percent of costumes and jewellery for the movie have been destroyed."
Padmavati tells the story of Alauddin Khilji, the medieval-era Delhi ruler, who fell in love with Rajput queen Padmavati. Actors Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor star in the film.
Activists of Shree Rajput Karni Sena protested against and misbehaved with the crew of Padmavati in Jaipur's Jaigarh Fort last week. They also damaged some cameras and other equipment, forcing Bhansali to stop shooting.
The incident elicited strong support from the Hindi film fraternity for Bhansali.