Padmavati, the movie has been witnessing fierce protests ever since it came on the production table. Rajputs in particular were dead against the movie as there were rumours about an alleged love making dream sequence between Allauddin Khilji and Maharani Padmavati in the movie. For the uninitiated, Maharani Padmini or Padmavati was a celebrated Rajput Queen from Chittor who self-immolated herself by performing Jauhar to save her honour and prevent her from being disgraced by Alauddin Khilji, who laid siege to the Chittor Fort and killed the King Rawal Ratan Singh in a war.
The movie is based on an epic called Padmavat written by Malik Mohammad Jayasi which pays rich tributes to the Rajput Queen, her conviction and valour. Queen Padmavati has almost has a godly status in Rajasthan today. Rajputs argue that since Bhansali is known to distort facts in the name of artistic freedom, he may end up distorting the story of Maharani Padmavati as well, which would be a great insult to the deceased queen and her clan. After the trailer of the movie was released, the commotion around it went a notch higher with various Hindu communities coming together against the movie.
Deepika Padukone who plays the lead role of queen Padmavati was even intimidated with death threats. Issuing death threats to a woman in order to protect the honour of another is sheer hypocrisy. It is as Talibanic as it can get. Bollywood stuck together as a single strong unit against the call of banning the movie, which has now been shelved for an indefinite period courtesy the protests. However first crack has appeared in the supposed unity of Bollywood.
Actress Kangana Ranaut refused to sign a petition initiated by Shabana Azmi against death threats given to Deepika Padukone. However she lent support to Deepika.
As Deepika Padukone faces a series of threats over her upcoming film Padmavati, a petition, initiated by veteran actress Shabana Azmi and signed by several other female actors, has reportedly been sent to PM Narendra Modi urging him to take an immediate action.
However, there have been reports doing the rounds that actress Kangana Ranaut refused to sign the letter when Azmi approached her. In a recently released statement, Kangana Ranaut addressed the controversy surrounding the “Deepika Bachao campaign”.
A statement released on behalf of the actress:
“I was filming Manikarnika in Jodhpur, got a call from my dear friend Anushka Sharma to sign the petition written by Ms Shabana Azmi, I explained to Anushka that Deepika Padukone has all my support, but I am a bit wary of Shabana Azmi’s investment in left wing vs right wing politics.
I have my own set of ideas and opinions about the current situation in our country, I am on the fence about many things and being a part of a feminist movement called ‘Deepika bachao’ led by someone who character assassinated me when I was bullied, seems to be one of them. Anushka understood but I am glad they reached out to me, like I said Deepika has all my support I am an individual perfectly capable of supporting who I like without anyone’s support.”
Kangana also said that protests against Padmavati were wrong but not surprising. She went onto say that the protests were a blatant display of patriarchy.
Kangana’s move here is quite commendable as she spoke her mind like always and lent her support to Deepika without getting involved in the facade pulled of by a rabid leftist that Shabana Azmi.
The Kangana Ranaut Shabana Azmi Controversy also gives a very important lesson. Politically motivated people and those who are known to have clear biases mustn’t lead a non-political movement because they are bound to lead it in an altogether different direction. Kangana Ranaut must be congratulated for calling Shabana Azmi’s Bluff in her characteristic style.
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