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Padmaavat protests: Prakash Raj, Farhan Akhtar, Ayushmann condemn Karni Sena on Twitter

The group vandalized property and pelted stones on a school bus filled with children during its protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat.

Prakash Raj, Farhan Akhtar, Ayushmann Khurrana

Shriram Iyengar

Even as the nation seethes against the wanton vandalism by the Rajput Karni Sena against the film Padmaavat, the industry has come out in strong opposition to the group's action.

The Karni Sena pelted stones and vandalized a school bus in Delhi filled with children on Tuesday during the violent protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film. 

Needless to say, Twitter was the most effective vehicle to express outrage. Actor-director Farhan Akhtar minced no words in calling the violent pelting, which endangered schoolchildren, an act of terrorism. 

Actor Prakash Raj, who has been in the limelight for his outspoken comments against the growing intolerance and violence in the country, wrote 'Children of my country shiver with fear and cry....as Karni Sena attacks a school bus....The elected government looks the other way. The opposition party diplomatically reacts... aren’t you all ashamed to trade our children’s safety for your vote-bank politics.' 

The sentiment was echoed by lyricist Varun Grover as well who called the group 'a bunch of criminals'. 

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also blamed the media for providing a platform to the Rajput Karni Sena to keep voicing its violent opinions. 

Actor Aftab Shivdasani, usually reticent in his comments, said it was 'a sad day' that state governments could not provide protection to schoolchildren from vandalism. 

Comedian Tanmay Bhat tried to make light of the situation by suggesting that the Karni Sena should perhaps join the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), referring to another series of controversies that took place last year. 

The violent protests even earned the wrath of Sanal Sasidharan, the director of S Durga (2017) which was banned from the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) and the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2017. 

While most of the industry stood firmly behind Bhansali and his film, director Hansal Mehta raised a question about the portrayal of jauhar (self-immolation), and Rajput valour in the film. He said, 'A film glorifies jauhar and the film’s publicity machinery talks about Rajput valour and dignity while people who call themselves Rajputs attack children.'

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana took on the Karni Sena saying that it might now lose any public support it might have had. 

Despite the support, the film has been blocked from release in three states (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan) for fear of violence. Several exhibitors have avoided screening the film. 

Padmaavat stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. The film was released across India today.

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