Padmavati row: Nitin Gadkari says filmmakers must be sensitive, freedom of speech not absolute

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New Delhi | Published: November 16, 2017 6:25:49 PM

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari joined the Padmavati debate on Thursday evening. Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India blamed the filmmakers by saying that freedom of speech is not absolute.

Nitin Gadkari on PadmavatiPadmavati is set to release on December 1. (Source: IE/PTI)

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari joined the Padmavati debate on Thursday evening. Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India blamed the filmmakers by saying that freedom of speech is not absolute. He said that filmmakers need to maintain cultural sensitivity while also adding that a film cannot distort history. The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader added that people have the right to be offended by the movie, he was speaking CNN-News 18. Meanwhile, Vivek Shekhawat, a member of Karni Sena, the body leading protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial asked which Constitution or law allows the director to distort history and make a film like Padmavati.

This statement from the Union minister came at a time when protests are being organised across various parts of the country against the release of the film which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles. Earlier in the day, even Ajmer Dargah Deewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan joined the chorus of voices against upcoming Bollywood film “Padmavati” and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the film, saying it hurt religious sentiments.

Comparing the film’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, with controversial writers Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen and Tareq Fatah, the spiritual leader said Muslims should oppose the film, which is set to hit the screens on December 1. An objection was also raised by Rajasthan Higher and Technical Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari who in a social media post, asserted that she strongly opposes the film “made purely for making money and entertainment”.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), on the other hand, has maintained a neutral stand so far. The party today said that it will only take a call in this regard after watching the movie. Amey Khopkar, the president of MNS Chitrapat Sena, the film wing of the Raj Thackeray-led party, yesterday issued a video to clarify the outfit’s stand on the movie, scheduled to release on December 1.

“We are of the opinion of not opposing the movie without watching it. We are not going to do it that way. I am aware of some social organisations and political parties opposing the film but we would like to first see it,” party said.

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