Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is reportedly returning to Mumbai and has cancelled the shoot of Padmavati in Jaipur.
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has cancelled the shoot of Padmavati in Jaipur, Rajasthan and is returning to Mumbai, according to latest reports.
This comes after director Bhansali was manhandled by members of a fringe outfit called Karni Sena on the sets of Padmavati yesterday in Jaipur.
Bhansali was slapped and his clothes were torn. In addition to this, Padmavati's sets were vandalised and expensive film equipment was destroyed.
Speaking to India Today, Bhansali said, "I am (fine), you have to go through this humiliation sometimes to make a film in this country."
Padmavati is based on the 1303 siege of Rajasthan's Chittor fort by Alauddin Khilji. Khilji wanted to have Rani Padmini, the wife of Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, for himself. However, before Alauddin could reach Padmini, the queen self-immolated herself and became a myth all across India.
However, Bhansali Productions' CEO Shobha Sant had long ago confirmed that no such scene was going to be a part of the film.
Several filmmakers and actors from the Mumbai film industry have condemned the attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali. From Anurag Kashyap to Ram Gopal Varma, Ashutosh Gowariker to Karan Johar, Sushant Singh Rajput to Priyanka Chopra, the incident has angered the Bollywood fraternity.
The Indian Film & Television Directors Association (IFTDA) also condemned the attack and requested the government to take immediate action.
Meanwhile, The Film and Television Producers Guild of India released a statement condemning the attack on Bhansali and asked the authorities to take "stringent measures" against the culprits.
The dastardly act of vandalism and assault which happened yesterday on the sets of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film 'Padmavati' at Jaipur is extremely unfortunate, deplorable and totally unacceptable to the Indian film industry. The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd. ("Guild") in unison with the entire film fraternity strongly condemns this despicable episode and expresses its absolute and unflinching support to Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Guild President Siddharth Roy Kapur in no uncertain terms said, "As President of The Film & Television Producers Guild of India and speaking on behalf of the entire film industry, I strongly condemn the acts of vandalism on the sets of Padmavati as a direct attack on freedom of expression in our democracy. The film industry has become the softest target for any fringe group looking for media attention, and we need the strongest possible intervention from the concerned authorities to end this and to end it now. We stand united and unflinching in our support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and urge the Government of India and the State Government of Rajasthan to take immediate steps to ensure the strongest possible punitive action is taken against these miscreants, so it serves as a deterrent in preventing the recurrence of such unacceptable events in the future.
The distressing part is that this is not the first time that fringe elements have unilaterally taken the law into their own hands to disrupt shoots/film releases and cause tremendous financial losses to film producers. The film Jodhaa Akbar was also not permitted to release in Rajasthan by the same group despite censor certification.
It is a glaring paradox that on the one hand the Central Government, various State Governments along with the film fraternity has been leaving no stone unturned to universally project India as an attractive shooting locale and on the other such hands miscreants are resorting to hooliganism of the worst order to defeat the 'Shoot in India' endeavor. Such disparaging incidents not only discourage our film makers to shoot in India with them preferring to travel abroad for shoots, but also puts foreign producers on the alarm against prospective plans to shoot in Indian locales. The sordid story of these debilitating turn of events is that such misinformed individuals/organizations are not even realizing the structured and methodical manner in which the process of film making evolves at the shooting/release stage and further at the time of certification clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The Guild makes a strong plea to the concerned ministries and authorities to promptly initiate stringent measures against these elements to send out a strong message to other misinformed individuals/bodies that such acts will not be tolerated in the future and thereby provide a timely deterrent against the repetition of these unacceptable incidents.