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Padmavati row: Sudhir Mishra rues lack of support during Dharavi controversy

While the filmmaker has extended full support to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, he also remembered getting no support when his own film was taken down in 1991.

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Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra has come out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. While speaking at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, he stressed that the right to make a film is as fundamental as the right to protest.

“As an industry we stand by each other defending our right to make films. And if anyone has any problem with the film they are free to express [themselves] as we live in a democracy. But you can’t take away my right to express as a filmmaker as well. It is as fundamental as expressing protest and that’s all we are saying,” said Mishra. 

He also pointed out that the people and groups protesting against Padmavati haven’t watched the film. “Nobody has seen the film and I am sure Bhansali has not done anything which will hurt anyone’s sentiments. I wish the film is released as Bhansali is a very responsible mainstream filmmaker. He will not do anything to hurt the value system of the masses,” Mishra added. 

The filmmaker, however, rued the fact that nobody came forward to support him when the Shiv Sena raised issues with his film Dharavi (1991). “We all came together for Padmavati because we believe whatever the film may be, it should first be seen. Tomorrow I may not like the film. But we are fighting for Bhansali just as Bhansali should fight for me. And I hope he does. For me, Dharavi was taken out in 1991 from theatres and nobody fought. I was alone and my career went back five years,” he said.

Last year during a film festival in Lonavala, Mishra had said he gets a surprising response now when he confronts Shiv Sena members on their problems with his film: “Today when I meet some Shiv Sena members and ask them the reason for pulling down my film, they themselves don’t remember.”

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