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Can't make any film if you start thinking about every community, says Raveena Tandon

The actress, who believes Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of India's greatest filmmakers, decried the "very strong hold" politics has taken on all aspects of the industry's functioning.

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Actress Raveena Tandon, who has slammed the protests and threats of violence against filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansalis Padmavati, said today that politics has taken a "very strong hold" on everything today.

Speaking at the Agenda Aaj Tak conclave in the capital, Tandon also slammed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and said it has become dysfunctional.

"Politics has taken a very strong hold on everything today," Tandon said. "It's very easy to say, ‘why doesn't the film industry take a stand?' Unfortunately this happened to us even when the underworld was ruling.

"Whenever there is any natural calamity, the film industry stands as one. But I think it's wrong to say why we don't take a stand. What happens is that it ultimately affects the film as new problems come up."

Tandon went on to cite examples from the past. "My father [filmmaker Ravi Tandon] told me decades back that [the late poet-lyricist] Majrooh Sultanpuriji was jailed for a year and a half for being critical of the government that was there at that time. He had written a poem on that.

"How many of you know that the legendary Kishore Kumar was banned from singing, performing or anything just because he had refused to campaign for a certain party? These are things that the [entertainment] industry goes through."

Padmavati is being slammed by various political and community groups for allegedly distorting historical facts about the legendary Rajput queen Padmini. Bhansali and the film's star Deepika Padukone have also received threats of physical violence from various politicians.

"I know the maker of Padmavati," Tandon continued. "I have seen bits of the film and its script. That's why I say that whatever is happening is wrong [with the makers]. Our censor board has been established for a certain purpose. But if the CBFC to a certain extent gets dysfunctional and we start thinking about all sectors, community or every human, then no film can be made.

"I believe Bhansali is one of the greatest filmmakers and I feel he should be felicitated as he to a certain extent makes films which glorify our history — not just Padmavati, you can see his previous works also. Not once has he brought down the image of India."

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