Celebs Divided Over Swara Bhasker's "Padmaavat" Open Letter

Swara Bhasker slammed director Bhansali for endorsing jauhar but the director and the film's lead star Deepika Padukone says it has to be seen in context

Celebs Divided Over Swara Bhasker's 'Padmaavat' Open Letter

Deepika Padukone in "Padmaavat." (Image courtesy- YouTube)

New Delhi: 


  1. Deepika Padukone said: "We are not endorsing jauhar"
  2. "You cannot abuse her for expressing what she feels," says Mini Mathur
  3. Padmaavat has collected over Rs 150 crore until Wednesday
Swara Bhasker's open letter on "Padmaavat" has split the film industry opinion. Some industry insiders are not in-sync with Swara's line of though while the others support the Nil Battey Sannata actress for her opinion on Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film. The Raanjhanaa actress, in the "Padmaavat" open letter, had said that she "felt reduced to a vagina" after watching the film. She called out the filmmaker for glorifying acts - jauhar and sati, performed by Rani Padmavati, played by Deepika Padukone. "Women have the right to live despite being raped, sir. Women have the right to live, despite the death of their husbands, male 'protectors', 'owners', 'controllers of their sexuality'... whatever you understand the men to be," she wrote in her letter.

The film's cast, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor, along with director Bhansali have defended the jauhar scene saying that it has to be seen in perspective - but more about that later. Here's what the celebs are saying about Swara's piece:

Actress Taapsee Pannu, who was at the Lakme Fashion Week 2018, told news agency PTI, "I think everyone has a right to their opinion. I, however, don't agree with Swara. Just because we both are feminists doesn't mean we have the same take."

Actress Divya Dutta also said, "The film has been told like a story. Everyone has their own viewpoint. Swara kept hers, I respect that. She felt something. That visual (jauhar scene) is very strong when it comes across. But the film is set in another century, whose mindset was different. So, my view point is different. I enjoyed it (the film) very much. I respect her opinion but I take the film for what it is, absolutely," PTI quoted her as saying.

Golmaal Again director Rohit Shetty told PTI, "Any kind of obstacle that comes in a film does not feel good. There's nothing in "Padmaavat", which should cause any kind of protest but then everyone has their own opinion.

Of the projection of jauhar in his film, Mr Bhansali told mid-day: "This film is based on a story in which the character performs jauhar. The character doing so was convinced that it was an act of war. I feel it's an empowering thought. She didn't allow the enemy to win. It was a victory of dignity and honour. This is what transpired, and I can't question her. In those days, when there was no solution, hara-kiri [method of suicide] was prevalent. I can't question it."

Deepika Padukone, who played Rani Padmavati told DNA, "Let me put things in perspective. We are not endorsing jauhar. You must see the scene/practice in context to the period in which it was shown. And when you do that, you will realise, it's so powerful. You do not feel like she is doing anything wrong. You want her to embrace the flames because she is going to be united with the man she loves."

Shahid Kapoor, who played Maharawal Ratan Singh in the film, told IANS, "I haven't read it yet. We have been busy with other things, but I think this isn't the right time. It has been a tough battle for us to be able to bring forth the film to the audience. It feels great to receive support from the entire industry but it feels odd that someone said something on a personal level. That's OK though as everyone has the right to say what they want but I haven't read it yet."

"Padmaavat" was released on January 25 and has collected over Rs. 150 crore until Wednesday.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)

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