The film fraternity is united in its outrage. Filmmakers, actors and producers alike believe that this is an affront to the very democratic rights that India boasts of, and an utter disregard to the freedom of expression.
A Tamil film on the subject of Rani Padmini was made in the 1970s. It seems that Indian democracy has deteriorated since then. The only external body that has any say in the release of a film is the CBFC. If the CBFC deems the film suitable to be screened, then nothing should be able to stop them.
Raja Krishna Menon:
It’s ridiculous that the conversation is about anything other than freedom of expression. We seem to have become a nation that is so fragile that anything said will in all probability deeply offend someone or the other. It is a failure of the state when people believe they can hold to ransom anything they deem they dislike and even threaten to harm artists and get away with it. I am just glad the guy who offered Rs 5 crore to behead Deepika and SLB has been arrested. That’s the first positive in this case.”
I feel very disturbed as an artist that our country has come to this. A culture of censorship on art when the country has much more pressing issues to address. All those people who have problems with the film need not see the film. But threats of death going unpunished. A mute government is not what a civilized democracy stands for.
Faraz Arif Ansari:
I don’t think that the Padmavati issue is even a film industry problem anymore — it’s a socio-political issue, which speaks volumes for the lack of democratic rights of the people. I think Padmavati can be thought of as a kind of litmus test and with its release, we’ll know whether or not we’re even living in a democracy anymore.
In a country like India, bursting at the seams with real, huge issues, when a film with possibly a fictional character becomes a cause to fight for, the government must be clinical, swift, absolute, in protecting it and in dismissing the ridiculous ambitions of anyone threatening to break the law. Any deliberation or delay in doing this is wrong and honestly, kind of tragic.