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SS Rajamouli: Even if Bhansali's view of story is different, he has a right to present  

Karan Johar and SS Rajamouli have strongly condemned the torching of the sets of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati in Kolhapur yesterday. They were speaking at the trailer launch of their film, Bahubali: The Conclusion. 

Keyur Seta

While the trailer launch for Baahubali: The Conclusion was an event built around the massive reception of the film, the film's makers were sympathetic to the suffering of another epic project. Director SS Rajamouli and producer Karan Johar came out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film, Padmavati. The film's sets were disrupted and set on fire by vandals yesterday. 

Rajamouli stated that even if Bhansali's perception of the story is different, he has a right to present it. "Firstly, we don't know yet what Mr Bhansali is going to present. Even if what he will present is not in tune with people's thoughts, he is an artist. He should be able to express his views. Freedom of expression is one of the prides of this country. We should be able to express anything, be it any artist."

Producer Karan Johar said, "It's deeply saddening to me as a filmmaker, human being and a citizen of our prestigious and wonderful country that we have to endure something like this. My thoughts, support and all my ideologies are with Sanjay. It's deeply saddening every time I read something like this."  

Johar hopes the perpetrators are punished. "We on our level in producers' guild have sat down and we are all in support with Sanjay and his entire cast and crew. I hope adequate measures would be taken that something like this would never happen to another filmmaker again in our land," he added. 

Yesterday, a group of unidentified people set Padmavati's sets on fire. The act of vandalism resulted in a loss of Rs 4 crores for Bhansali's production. It is also the second such act of violence against the film. The police are currently looking for the miscreants involved in the incident.