This Article is From Jan 29, 2018

Swara Bhasker On Reaction To "Padmaavat" Open Letter: 'They Only Remember The Word Vagina'

Swara Bhasker's open letter on how she felt "reduced to a vagina" while watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat" has, unsurprisingly, gone viral

Swara Bhasker On Reaction To 'Padmaavat' Open Letter: 'They Only Remember The Word Vagina'

Swara Bhasker will be next seen in Veere Di Wedding (Image courtesy: reallyswara)

Highlights

  • Swara's piece calls Mr Bhansali out for glorifying jauhar and sati
  • Sonam Kapoor retweeted an appreciative comment on the open letter
  • Twitter is flooded with similarly dismissive comments
New Delhi: Actress Swara Bhasker's open letter on how she felt "reduced to a vagina" while watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat" has, unsurprisingly, gone viral and, also unsurprisingly, has made some people on social media indignant, outraged and angry. Swara's piece, written for The Wire, calls Mr Bhansali out for glorifying acts - jauhar and sati - that deprive women of life and liberty. "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," Swara writes in her letter.

Later in her piece, she writes: "It would be nice if the vaginas are respected; but in the unfortunate case that they are not, a woman can continue to live. She need not be punished with death, because another person disrespected her vagina without her consent." "Padmaavat," which released last week after months of being dogged by controversy, is based on the legend of Rani Padmini who supposedly committed jauhar to escape the invading emperor Alauddin Khilji. Swara's letter includes a hat tip to the difficult circumstances that accompanied the release of "Padmaavat" and noted that she had spoken up for the film while it was fighting for survival.

While Swara's Veere Di Wedding co-star Sonam Kapoor retweeted an appreciative comment on the open letter, many online have been less welcoming. This tweet from actress-singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthi referencing Swara's acclaimed performance in 2017 film Anaarkali Of Aarah is pretty much sums up the general reaction: "Funny that an actress who can play an erotic dancer/prostitute with such elan should feel like a vagina after watching a story of a pious queen. What standards are these... tch tch."

Much of what Swara said clearly escaped some readers. The one takeaway, as Swara noted in her response to Ms Krishnamoorthi's tweet, was that she used the word 'vagina':
 

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi wasn't the only one to fixate on Swara's use of a word that clearly makes a lot of people uncomfortable:
 
 

To someone who accused her of having "belittled the entire women community," Swara responded:
 

Twitter is flooded with similarly dismissive comments:
 
 

A tweet from September about trolling trolls has been pinned on Swara Bhasker's Twitter timeline, so it doesn't look like she's backing down anytime soon:
 

The deeply polarising "Padmaavat" stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati with Ranveer Singh playing the villainous Alauddin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor as the Rani's king, Ratan Singh.