Sanjay Leela Bhansali tampered with the history of our ancestors under our nose, said Lokendra Singh Kalvi, the founder of the Rajput Karni Sena that attacked the filmmaker on Friday and vandalised the set of his movie Padmavati in Jaipur. “Does he have the capacity to film a movie against Adolf Hitler in Germany?” he told ANI on Saturday. “Things that did not exist in history should not be depicted in films. We said the same thing during the shooting of Jodha Akhbar.”
While Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria criticised Karni Sena for acting “outside the purview of law”, he said “anger is instinctive in such a case”. “Any action on a personal level is not right. An investigation will be initiated in the matter, Kataria added.
Shooting on the set of the historical drama at Jaipur Fort was stalled after Karni Sena activists barged into the premises and assaulted Bhansali. “Our basic protest is about distortion of historic facts, which will not be tolerated,” said a member of the group, Vikram Singh. The period drama has Deepika Padukone portraying Rani Padmavati, with Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji.
Meanwhile, director-producer Vikam Bhatt extended support to Bhansali on behalf of the “entire film fraternity”, and a number of Bollywood figures took to Twitter to speak up against the attack on Bhansali. Priyanka Chopra said, “It’s appalling to hear what happened to Sanjay Leela Bhansali...Violence is not what our forefathers taught us.” Hrithik Roshan said he was infuriated by what had happened, while filmmaker Anurag Kashyap called the Karni Sena activists “spineless cowards” who made him “feel ashamed to be a Rajput”.
Many used #IStandBySLB to voice their opinion. Actor-director Farhan Akhtar said, “My fellow film folk, if we do not unite now against these recurring incidents of bullying, it’s going to get much worse. If you don’t like what he’s making, don’t watch his film. What’s with the violence?” he said. “I’m waiting to see how many people are punished for what they’ve done to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his crew. There’s enough evidence.”