By Arpita Singh
It is a matter of grave sadness that Bollywood is succumbing to the political bullies without much choice.
Recently activists of Shree Rajput Karni Sena protested and mishandled the crew of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati to apparently protect the proud history of Rajasthan.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali was thrashed, slapped and his clothes were torn by the members of Karni Sena “opposing the distortion of history”.
Bhansali has been accused of distorting the historical facts about Rani Padmavati of Chittor. The movie allegedly has romantic scenes between Rani Padmavati and invader Alauddin Khilji which they find offensive.
Therefore, the makers of the film went on to clarify that there are no love scenes between Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji to assure Karni Sena that they are keeping the historical facts intact.
However, Karni Sena continues to demand the review of the movie before it’s release and also, demand a change in the movie’s title.
This is How Bollywood is Succumbing to the Political Bullies of India
Giriraj Singh, a Bhartiya Janta Party politician and a Member of Parliament has backed the protests against Padmavati. The silence of the government and especially PM Narendra Modi strengthens such politically motivated groups.
Post the Indian surgical strikes against Pakistan, a false sense of political ‘nationalism’ has distorted freedom in fine arts.
Artists like Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar and Mahira Khan were made to leave the country as a result of discriminatory protests from Maharastra Nanvnirman Sena (MNS) and other political figures.
The protests of MNS demanded to disown of Pakistan’s artists from Indian cinema who allegedly took away jobs from the Indian artists. The agitation demanded an apology from Fawad khan who had condemned the Uri attacks.
The Ae Dil Hai Mushkil actor then took to Facebook to clarify the false statement attributed to him and on the subsequent ban on Pakistani artists by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Organisation (IMPPA): “This is the first time I have spoken on the matter. Please disregard any other words attributed to me during this time because I have not said it.”
Why did Someone like Karan Johar have to Apologize to Prove his Integrity in Art?
Karan Johar had to apologize for working with Pakistani artists before the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in a video statement.
The 44-year-old director said, “Everyone said It looked like you were going to cry. I wasn’t crying and pleading to profess my nationalism. I wanted to break into tears. The fact that I had to do this…I felt like there was an invisible gun on my head”.
Events like this in which an eminent filmmaker in Bollywood is succumbing to the political bullies to prove his ‘nationalism’ is extremely discouraging and even disproportionate.
Is Bollywood Falling Prey to Anti-Secular Cults?
In another shocking event, Shahrukh Khan met Raj Thackeray before the release of ‘Raees’ featuring Mahira Khan assuring how she will not promote the film. And she didn’t.
Shahrukh Khan, the self-professed ‘Badshah’, had to bow down in front of an anti-secular political leader, a leader who is actually supposed to work for the interest of people and not against it.
Throughout the promotion of Raees, the female lead Mahira Khan was absent. It was all for the sake of not upsetting these jingoistic figures.
This is shameful in democracy.
All these events obligate us to raise these questions:
-Why does Bollywood bow down to the pride and insanity of these ‘saviours’?
-Why is government responsible for the state of Bollywood?
Well, if we are doing a Q&A anyways, let me answers these for you:
– Bollywood has to bow down to these saviors as long as concepts of ‘nationalism’ and ‘pride’ remains mistaken as ‘sanskaar’ in our society.
– The Government can be held responsible for the plight of Bollywood since there has been no direct support from any eminent figure to curb the present situation.
It is very necessary for art to be set free and not to be associated with politics and cults. This messy intertwining of two very separate systems of performance will push Indian cinema over the edge.
If a proper course of action is not taken against the accused, to discourage the harassment done by them, we will soon face the death of creative freedom in India.