Yesterday the internet was abuzz with people supporting filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who was assaulted on sets of his film Padmavati in Rajasthan. For the uninitiated, on Friday, the maverick filmmaker was assaulted by a mob of protesters from the Srirajput Karni Sena claiming that they felt it was their duty to save Rani Padmini’s name and to prevent what they called a distortion of Rajput history.
Finally breaking silence Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s office released a statement about the attack condemning the violence saying, “Sanjay Leela Bhansali has shot two films in Jaipur and despite his love for Rajasthan, for the safety of his crew, we have decided to stop the shoot and leave the city post the shocking incident where miscreants damaged property and misbehaved with the crew on the shoot of Padmavati. SLB had directed the opera ‘Padmavati’ to packed houses in Paris and earned worldwide praise for it. He was inspired by the beautiful and courageous queen and is making a feature film on the story. We clarify that there is no dream sequence or any objectionable scene between Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji. We have been carefully researching and making the film. In spite of this, the attack on the shoot and crew was uncalled for and was extremely damaging to the image of the beautiful city of Jaipur. We are grateful to the authorities at Jaipur who responded promptly and limited the damage on shoot. We are confident that Mewar will be proud of the film made on their revered queen. We do not want to hurt any sentiments and would appreciate if the local people support us in making this film and making their queen revered by the world.”
Echoing a similar sentiment was the Viacom18 Motion Pictures, COO – Ajit Andhare who added, “The incident that took place yesterday on the sets of Padmavati is shocking; Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a veteran with an acclaimed body of work. We stand by him and our film which is a celebration of the Rani and what she represented. We truly don’t wish to hurt the sentiments of any person or community. We didn’t expect this.”
As for the film, Padmavati that is currently under production features Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.