NEW DELHI: The alleged assault on Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his crew on the sets of "Padmavati" today figured in Rajya Sabha with actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan saying the incident has threatened creativity. Raising the issue in the House during the Zero Hour, she said intolerance is growing in the country and a "select few" assume that they represent the masses, "under certain political patronage", and take law and order in their hands.
They have no respect for constitutional values or the law of the land. Bachchan (SP) said the film fraternity, which strives to bring fictional stories to people through creativity for the sole purpose of entertainment with some moral and social message, has been the "soft target for these anti-social elements".
"Sometime they are threatened, sometime films are not allowed be screened, sets are vandalised and sometimes it takes a violent turn as it happened in Jaipur recently. "...Sets of Padmavati, where Rajput Karni Sena not only physically assaulted the Director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but also damaged the expensive film equipments," she said.
Bhansali, she said, is a renowned director has made great films and added that he had also staged the "same subject of Padmavati" as an opera in a Paris theatre in 2008. Bachchan further said neither the state government, nor the Centre has condemned the incident or taken action against the culprits. "What message are we sending to the film fraternity which is one of the most important and vibrant ambassador of the country. Creativity should not be subjected to such treatment," she said and demanded strong action against those involved in the incident.
Bachchan said the film faternity has long been fighting the menace with little or no support from the government. The film industry creates large number of employment oppourtunities and such disruptions affects the earnings of the sector. Last month, Bhansali was allegedly roughed up by members of a Rajput community group, who also stopped the shooting of the film by damaging the set at Jaigarh Fort, alleging that the director was "distorting facts" in the movie which is about Alauddin Khilji's obsession with Rani Padmavati.