In a heartening show of solidarity, several Bollywood heroines are signing a petition that will urgently be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their angst over the death threats that Deepika Padukone is getting over the controversial film Padmavati. This comes hard on the heels of the movement started by Shabana Azmi in Bollywood as the Padmavati row got ugly.
Urging members of the film industry to “refuse to be puppets in the game of electoral gain, divisive politics and polarization”, Shabana accused the BJP government at the Centre and some states of not doing enough to handle the protests against Padmavati that are now threatening to be violent. Boldly, the actress went on to say it was not the Rajput caste organisation Shri Karni Sena that was the real culprit, but the Modi government at the Centre and the state governments of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh that were to be blamed for not arresting those who issued a bounty of Deepika’s head.
Shabana’s frontal attack has gathered steam with several Bollywood actresses deciding this evening to sign a petition to Modi complaining about the dismal security offered to women in the country. Shabana’s exhortation that “too much has happened and too repeatedly” and it had come to a “now or never situation” apparently stirred the film industry’s actresses into action. “People are openly threatening to cut off Deepika’s nose, they are openly saying there is a Rs. 5 crore bounty on her head, if this is not criminal, what is?” Shabana has asked.
Deepika herself reacted to the threats by saying, “It’s absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed. The only people we (thePadmavati team) are answerable to is the Censor Board.” The actress who plays the title role of Rani Padmini in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama Padmavati is under heavy police protection currently but is determined to go about her promotional activities.