By Vijay Darda | 20-11-2017
People have not seen the film Padmavati, yet they have started issuing fatwas. Such extremist elements should be reined in firmly
The hue and cry raised over the film Padmavati and the use of intemperate language by some outfits and their leaders in opposing the film has astonished me. What an irony that the film which has not yet been released, which people have not seen yet, nor any remark has been passed by the censor board regarding the content of the film, yet the extremists have become active and started raising furore over the movie. Is raising furore over the grapevine and issuing fatwas, culture of India? We should not forget that we are living in a democratic country. Here, people who respect all religions, languages and history live in harmony. It is not the country of fools who start creating uproar unknowingly, without thinking.
Seeing the ugly action of these extremist elements and the government’s indifference, many times I feel like asking the government what country are we living in? Are we living in the country of terrorists? Are we taking to the ways of Taliban or living in the sultanate of IS where any Tom, Dick and Harry can issue fatwa? This is not the first case of issuing fatwa. Earlier too, such acts have taken place, but unfortunately, our governments have continued to ignore them. Political parties and politicians are vying with one another so intensely to woo voters in the name of religion, caste or community that nobody even thinks about reining in such elements!
I want to say in no uncertain terms that this will never be acceptable in a country like India. The government will have to deal firmly with those who speak the language of terror irrespective of their religion and caste affiliation! Otherwise, such elements will hold sway and ultimately the country will suffer. The government must understand that none is bigger than the country, neither the government nor the leader, neither any religion nor any caste! The country is paramount. I consider such fanaticism as an attack on the country and such elements as the enemy of the country.
We live in a democratic country and, of course, there should be respect for the views of either side. As far as Padmavati is concerned, if after watching the picture, it seems that there is some distortion then surely it should be removed from the film. The Queen of Bundi too has said that let people watch the movie first and then comment. I believe that if there is an insulting scene and sentiments have been hurt the matter of protest can be understood. It is the culture of India that we should not hurt anyone’s feelings.
But we should not forget the fact that this is a movie, and not a historical documentary. The film Padmavati should be looked upon only as a drama. I am surprised that certain organisations took to streets in protest even when the film was under production and no one knew anything about it! Ghoomar dance was being shot in Jaipur Palace when the entire set was demolished, causing loss to property worth lakhs of rupees. Sanjay Leela Bhansali accepted it as a challenge and put up the set in Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio. After 45 days of continuous shooting, the film got ready. A total of Rs 160 crore has been spent on the movie.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a person who does not create any noise; never goes to the party; does not indulge in any politics. He keeps doing his job. He has produced and directed a number of good films so far. He has made films on every culture: ‘Bajirao Mastani’ on Maharashtrian culture, ‘Devdas’ on Bengali culture, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ on Gujarati culture, and now ‘Padmavati’ on Rajasthani culture. Prior to this, he had made ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela’. He has worked to unify every religion and community through his cinematic productions. He made the film ‘Black’ on Alzheimer’s. He is a creative person and has a creative mind. Therefore, it is not proper to play politics with such a person.
For Padmavati, Deepika Padukone has executed the Ghoomar dance by wearing a 30-kg jewellery and 30-kg costume. Is it easy to dance carrying a weight of 60 kilograms? In fact, we should encourage an artist. But unfortunately, it is sad that some fundamentalist forces take to such cruel way of protest simply to serve their own interests. These are the people who can do anything to get cheap publicity. And yes, the media should also think how much importance such people should be given. Once again I would like to point out that the government as also all the political parties will have to deal with such fundamentalist forces extremely harshly, lest they will destroy the country!
Change condition, not name!
Here is another newsbreak. The news is that efforts are being made to rename Indore, the historical and commercial city of Madhya Pradesh, as Indur. The proposal is about to reach the Madhya Pradesh government soon. Since the same party is ruling the municipal corporation as well as the state and the country, it is not surprising that after a few months we will be forced to call Indore as Indur. My question is, what will the renaming achieve? Calcutta became Kolkata, Bangalore became Bengaluru, Madras became Chennai, Bombay became Mumbai, Mangalore became Mengaluru and Poona became Pune, but what happened? The problems of these cities remain the same today as they were prior to the renaming. Is it easy to live there? Did these cities start getting purified water round the clock? Is there any reduction in pollution? Then what is the benefit of renaming? Changing the name, in my view, is nothing more than a political move. I am reminded of one song… Ye jo public hai ye sab jaanti hai..!