Sanjay Leela Bhansali is happy that his movie Padmaavat is getting good reviews.
In an interview to newspaper Mid Day, the director took on the matter of Swara Bhaskar criticizing the movie for alleged Jauhar glorification and said that Jauhar in the context, is ‘an act of war.’
“Our men have died on the battlefield, but the war doesn’t end there. They believe that the Rajputs have been vanquished. But, the women wage the [final] war. They decide that not a single woman or child would be subjugated to rape, or violation. That’s what happened then. So, are people questioning Padmavati’s decision?”
Jauhar was undertaken by the Hindu women to escape from sexual slavery. Yazidi women have also taken to taking their lives in the 21st century to escape sexual slavery at the hands of Islamic State terrorists operational in the large swathes of Iraq and also Syria.
Swara Bhaskar’s comments had earlier drew reactions from Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone also. Shahid who essays the role of an understated but the brave and dignified Rajput King Maharawal Ratan Singh in Padmaavat, had said that “every practice happens for various reasons. Within this film, Padmavati believed she would want to go into the fire as opposed to handing herself over to a man who is so evil, that he is ready to kill the entire kingdom to achieve one woman.”
While Deepika, like always true to her fiery form, shut the criticism of Swara Bhaskar on Jauhar saying that “You probably went out to buy some popcorn and missed the initial disclaimers that come out.” Her quote was carried by the Bombay Times. On Jauhar, the makers had issued disclaimers that they do not support the practice.
Jauhar of Padmawati: Yazidi activist Nadia Murad makes a point
All said and done, he then next took on the questions on the portrayal of Alauddin Khilji as a bisexual man in his film.
Here he said that:
“It was documented. I asked Ranveer if he was comfortable with it and he agreed to do the role. We did not showcase it in a jarring manner. It was done with subtlety. Jim and he handled their act with delicateness and dignity. A lot was left for the viewer to gauge.”
However, Kihilji’s portrayal and glorification of Rajputs may have cost the movie dear in Malaysia whose national censorship board (LPF) has turned down an appeal against the banning of Padmaavat.
Th film’s local distributors, the Antenna Entertainments notified its followers over the development and said:
Its official that Malaysia’s National Film Censorship Board (LPF) has barred filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Jim Sarbh, from getting released in the country.
Earlier, the LPF chairman had said that the film “touches on the sensitivities of Islam” and therefore cannot release in a Muslim-majority Malaysia.