Shabana Azmi and Twinkle Khanna have also voiced their support for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone and Padmavati.
Padmavati row: Javed Akhtar says Rajputs served British, Kamal Haasan opposes extremism
Mumbai - 21 Nov 2017 11:54 IST
Celebrated script writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar has come down heavily on the Rajput groups threatening to kill and harm Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone for allegedly distorting history in their upcoming film Padmavati.
Going a step further, Akhtar also slammed the Rajputs for their role in history. While talking to television channel AajTak, the veteran artist stated that the Rajputs were hand in gloves with the British.
“The Rajputs and the Rajwadas never fought against the British and now they are taking to the streets against a film and a filmmaker. All these ‘ranas’ ‘rajas’ and ‘maharajas’ of Rajasthan were serving in the courts of the British for 200 years. Where did their Rajput honour and valour go that time? They have become what they are since they had accepted to serve the British,” he said.
As expected, his comments have infuriated the Rajput Karni Sena and Mahipa Singh Makrana, the Rajasthan state president, has threatened to thrash Akhtar if he enters Rajasthan. They also burnt Akhtar’s effigy in a show of protest.
“He has lost our respect. From now on he is banned in Rajasthan and if he dares we will thrash him on the streets. Rajputs and Rajwadas have sacrificed their lives and he is mocking our history and saying we were serving the British. He does not deserve ‘Padharo mhare des’ treatment anymore. He speaks a lot in literature festivals and next time we are not going to allow him to even come to Jaipur and speak,” Makrana said.
Makrana had threatened to cut off Deepika’s nose last week.
Akhtar’s wife and senior actor Shabana Azmi has also lashed out at the government for its inability to handle the situation.
“In 2017, we are facing the same thing with an even worse situation where there are people openly threatening to cut off Deepika Padukone’s nose, openly threatening that there is Rs 5-crore bounty on her head. If this is not criminal, what is? What is the government doing about it?” she said.
Azmi added that the film industry should boycott the ongoing IFFI (International Film Festival of India) in Goa as a mark of protest. “What can the film industry do? The people who are being honoured over there, whether it is Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan, or whoever it is there, should say we will not go to IFFI because until and unless you put these people who are making such statements behind bars, we are not going to come and do something which the government is doing in honour of the film industry,” she added.
Meanwhile, actress-turned-producer Twinkle Khanna has expressed support to the film through a tweet. She wrote, “And as far as #Padmavati is concerned I wish it is the biggest hit ever as that would be the befitting rejoinder to all these loony threats!”
And as far as #Padmavati is concerned I wish it is the biggest hit ever as that would be the befitting rejoinder to all these loony threats!— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) November 19, 2017
Actor Kamal Haasan has also spoken in support of the Padmavati team. He tweeted, "I want Ms Deepika's head...saved."
I wantMs.Deepika's head.. saved. Respect it more than her body.Even more her freedom. Do not deny her that.Many communities have apposed my films.Extremism in any debate is deplorable. Wake up cerebral India.Time to think. We've said enough. Listen Ma Bharat— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) November 20, 2017
He also urged the people to respect her head more than her body and her freedom more than her head.