At a point of time when the country is going berserk over the Padmavati controversy, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday hit out at the protesters saying that in a democratic country death threats and announcing rewards on the physical harm of a person is not acceptable. Though Venkaiah Naidu did not refer to the controversy directly, he pointed out to all film in general and warned people from undermining the law of the country. Naidu was at a literary festival where he talked about the ongoing problems saying that there is 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. He said while protesting, some people go overboard and announce rewards.
Though Venkaiah Naidu stressed that he was not talking about a particular film he made it very clear that there will be zero tolerance for intolerance. “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. He also read out the names of the films which have been banned previously Haram Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka and Aandhi. Adding further Vice President said, “Whether these fellows have that much money or not, I doubt. Everyone is announcing Rs one crore reward. Is it so easy to have Rs one crore?”
Venkaiah Naidu’s statement at this juncture holds a lot of importance since it comes at a time when the controversies surrounding the film is only escalating. They come amid protests by many groups against Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Padmavati, alleging that the movie distorts history. “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”, Naidu said. The vice president also warned against selective condemnation and said it was wrong to link it to religion He said there was a difference between religion and culture. While religion was a way of worship, culture was a way of life, he said.