Mumbai: The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking a smooth release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film “Padmavati”, which is caught in the eye of a storm.
Some members of the Rajput community have accused the director of “distorting historical facts” and portraying Rani Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone) in bad light in the film.
The protesters have demanded that a group of historians and their group members be shown the film before its release on December 1.
In the letter to Singh, filmmaker and convenor of IFTDA Ashoke Pandit said that as the agitators have threatened to raze the cinema halls to ground, adequate protection must be provided to the “Padmavati” team.
“Protection must be given to Bhansali, his family, the star cast and the technicians of the film ‘Padmavati’, so that the unit is saved from the wrath of undemocratic people. Help the victim to release his film in time, without anybody’s intrusion,” he said in the letter.
“We are concerned with the cause of film ‘Padmavati’, which has become a serious issue that needs your immediate attention and stern handling of the situation, which is going out of control…”
Calling Bhansali a “sensible” director, the letter read, “A director has his or her fundamental right of creativity, freedom of expression and has prerogative to take liberty with history… He (Bhansali) was previously man-handled at Jaipur, shooting was stopped and was even threatened for his life by the hoodlums. The mental trauma, physical threat to his life and his fears are continuously rising everyday inching towards the release of his film.
“IFTDA has high regards for Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) which has statutory powers to examine the film before its release,” Pandit said in the letter.
“But how (can) the Rajput community and its fringed groups of insane people blindly allege distortion of historical facts and hurting of their sentiments, when the film has not been seen by anybody?” the letter further read.
The IFTDA yesterday requested police protection for Bhansali in a letter written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The film also stars Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji.