The attack on the sets of Padmavati has been the talks of parties, interviews and celeb homes. In support of the currently-in-trauma celebrated filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the fraternity has come out in support of him. But there are some questions to be raised. And the bold Mahesh Bhatt has raised them for us. The following is his take on the Padmavati attack as jotted down by a leading daily.
He has not simply given his opinion on what has happened but had also raised some crucial questions. What kind of society are we? What is the point of freedom of speech? As per whom is our country supposed to run? Law and order or a handful of individuals??
“Let me start like this.
For the first time, I see our film industry uniting and fearlessly expressing their outrage. This is one hell of a leap in the first month of 2017 by a fraternity, who otherwise has been apathetic to any of its member’s wounds. That’s the positive.
But there’s lot more that needs a large discussion.
The big question we need to ask our establishment now is:
It has happened before. No action was taken then, and the culprits only got emboldened. If no action is taken even now, why wouldn’t they do it AGAIN? They only stand to gain. Don’t they make their points loud and clear? Don’t they get their airtime on TV? Don’t they garner eyeballs?
And don’t think that the lumpen forces doing gundagardi and dadagiri are present in only one part of our country today. It is spread all over.
This, in turn, speaks volumes about the people we are. We keep saying that we are a free society which has a bandwidth to have viewpoints of dissension. But the truth is that if anybody dares to look at his past through his own prism, you come down heavily on him and tell him that the only way to go about is through your prism. now that’s a major problem. If in a free society you do not let the people consume information and interpret it as per their understanding, you are only stifling and muzzling free thought.
And then you give them free speech. But what will one do with free speech when you do not have free thought?
No society which brags to the world that ‘we are a land of sages and peace’ can have incidents like these days in and day out.
Just 2 days ago, BJP national general secretary said that ‘Don’t see Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees‘. (For those not in the know, Kailash Vijayvargiya said this on Tuesday after the death of a man during heavy rush at SRK’s train promotion of Raees).
Coming back to the people who attacked Sanjay Leela Bhansali. These people use mobile phone cameras to record videos of hitting him and throw it out to the people to show what they’ve done! And this man is a National Award winner!! He is among the top-ranking filmmakers of India. The incident is happening not in some interiors but in the heart of Rajasthan, it’s capital Jaipur which is also a big tourist centre. Imagine!
What is the Jaipur police doing? What is the Rajasthan Chief Minister (Vasundhara Raje) doing? These are concerns we need to raise.
Our film industry has many painful memories of the past. Have we forgotten what happened with My Name Is Khan? Hasn’t Prakash Jha had his share of problems in his movies? Ashutosh Gowariker faced a similar sort of problem during Jodhaa Akbar and had to release the film via Supreme Court.
I don’t think that this is the last time that such an incident has happened, unless you give a rap on the knuckles to make the people responsible for it, understand.
And let me tell you that this happened only now. It’s not that we are like this since recent times. Don’t we all know what happened when My Name Is Khan was about to hit theaters?
All said and done, I see a silver lining. The politics of silence in Bollywood is over. I can’t compel those who haven’t, to speak up. That’s their right and I won’t trespass. Grant them their right. I don’t subscribe to the theory: “If you are not with us, you are against us.”
The thing that amazes me is: Why has the I & B Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore been quiet on this so far? His silence is glaring. He is not a Junior minister and he is from Jaipur. The person who has been beaten up in broad daylight (Read: Sanjay Leela Bhansali) is not an ordinary person. He is a National Award Winner.
People are celebrating Godse who assassinated our Father of Nation. If they’re being permitted to express themselves, is a film anything in comparison? Besides, nobody has seen Bhansali’s Padmavati, he has just begun on it. Who has read the script? On what basis are the objections being raised? Filmmakers make films for mass acceptance and cannot dare hurt the audience. else they won’t find bums on seats when their film in question sees the light of day. Viacom 18 is a business house, why would any businessman venture out to make an anti-Hindu film and make it work?
The mother of all questions: Is this country going to be run by the rule of law or by the whims of a handful of people? You manufacture outrage in your backyard and say that you intend to hurt my sentiments and before you have done it. someone comes and hits you!
Mr. Rathore and Ms. Vasundhara Raje Scindia must get together with the police and look into the details of what happened. They must then send out a clear signal to the violators of law and thereby instill confidence in the industry.
We are soft people and deserve to be treated like normal Indian citizens. We are not asking for any privileges.”
We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Bhatt. Thank you for raising some questions that need to be legitimately answered. As of the current situation where Team Padmavati is concerned, we wish the whole team all the very best and may justice be on their side!