Article Hindi

Not fair to make statements on Padmavati without seeing it, says Salman Khan

The Sultan (2016) actor says one should respect the CBFC and the Supreme Court’s decision; says he will take to the cleaners anyone who seeks sexual favour to offer work.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Seldom does he speak out in public, but when he does, people listen. Salman Khan had a sore throat but spoke at length at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.

Khan was interviewed at the event by veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta. Among the pertinent things he spoke about were the Padmavati row and the casting couch controversy.

The release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati has been delayed by the protests and violent threats of some fringe groups claiming to represent the Rajput community. These groups have, without having watched the film, claimed that it will be hurtful of Rajput sentiments. Some unruly elements from these groups have even held out threats of physical violence against Bhansali and his cast, notably Deepika Padukone, who essays the title role.

Some politicians have also jumped on to the protest bandwagon while some state governments run by the Bharatiya Janata Party have already banned the film in their regions.

“Of course we all want artistic freedom, but a lot of people also get hurt by what is portrayed on screen. Do you think there is a line between the freedom of an artist and how his/her viewers might get affected,” a member of the audience asked.

Khan responded, “I don’t think it is fair to hurt someone’s sentiments. Second, it is not fair also without seeing the film to comment on that. The CBFC will give you a certificate. We will go by the certificate.”

Gupta then asked Khan whether Bhansali has a track record of offending people. “I don’t know about other people, but he has offended me," the superstar joked. "I gave him two hit films and he took Shah Rukh Khan in the next one.” The reference was to Devdas (2002). Salman Khan had featured in the two films that Bhansali made prior to Devdas — Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Khamoshi: The Musical (1996).

Gupta then asked Khan whether some filmmakers love creating controversies to draw attention to their work. “I don’t know whether one profits, but this often results in a loss because the film gets delayed and people are scared to go to the theatres," the actor said. "The business of the film drops, even if the film remains in the news. Even exhibitors are scared to screen it, fearing violence.

"It happened with me in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya (2005)," he recalled. "The film was stopped from being released on a Friday and was then released the following Tuesday."

The star continued, "We are getting to hear many stories with regards to Padmavati. I don’t know what is right or wrong. The CBFC and the Supreme Court should be the ones to make the right decision. Once the CBFC or the Supreme Court takes a decision, everyone should respect it.”

Earlier, Khan was asked his views on the casting couch controversy and whether such a thing exists in Hindi cinema. "Man or woman, it is the most disgusting thing to exploit, use someone to get them work,” he said.

“No one has ever confirmed it," he continued. "I have been here for the longest time, my father has been here longer than I have been here. Till today, I have never heard someone say this straight out. Now as man or woman, someone will flirt with beautiful people, but that is different from sexual harassment. I have not heard anything like this because if I ever hear something like this, a lady or man comes and tells me that they have been exploited, I will take him [the sexual offender] to the cleaners.”

Salman Khan will be seen next in Tiger Zinda Hai, which is slated to be released on 22 December.

Watch the conversation with Salman Khan below:

Related topics

Casting Couch Censorship