Attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an attack on democracy

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New Delhi | Updated: January 28, 2017 4:25:37 PM

The attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his crew members while shooting for 'Padmavati' was not only an attack on the film unit but also the democratic rights of a filmmaker.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest film is in controversy as the film allegedly shows queen Padmavati in a bad light. (Indian Express)Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest film is in controversy as the film allegedly shows queen Padmavati in a bad light. (Indian Express)

The attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his crew members while shooting for ‘Padmavati’ was not only an attack on the film unit but also the democratic rights of a filmmaker. Strange as it may be, the attack on the unit at the Jaigarh fort of the Rajasthan capital occurred a day after India celebrated its 68th Republic Day.

While shooting for the film, the unit of the film including the filmmaker was not only attacked but the set of film was also vandalised. This wasn’t the first time when a filmmaker had to face such a threat. Couple of months back, filmmaker Karan Johar had to face threat from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for including Pakistan actor Fawad Khan in his film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.

After MNS threat, uncertainty on the film’s threat mounted. MNS threat came at a time when there was already a lot of anger against Pakistan brewing in the country after Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed. Karan Johar had to apologise eventually, following which his film got released. With these kinds of incidents in a few months, the question that comes to mind is: Do we really live in a democracy? Isn’t the attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Karan Johar an attack on their democratic rights?

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest film is in controversy as the film allegedly shows queen Padmavati in a bad light. Karni group, which attacked the film crew yesterday, alleged that there are romantic scenes between her and Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji.

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Whether or not they were into a relationship is for the historians and viewers to decide, not any fringe group, and certainly not through violent means. They may not agree with the topic or the script of the film, but there are other ways to show their protest. In a country like India, which has thousands of years of history, views of historians or individuals can be different on many accounts, but every view should be respected and there has to be tolerance in the country to listen or understand the other point of views.

For the last couple of years, there has been a lot of talk on ‘intolerance’ in the country. Sadly, when we talk of India being watched by the rest of the world, these kinds of incidents blackens India’s image in the world. It is high time we in India understand each other’s right of freedom.

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