"We stand for Padmavati": Film industry plans 15-minute 'blackout'
To show support for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati, the Indian Films and TV Directors' Association (IFTDA) and 20 other film and television industry bodies are organizing a 15-minute blackout protest "Main Azaad Hoon". No shootings would take place; all units in Mumbai would put off lights, said IFTDA's Ashoke Pandit. Members will join the protest at Film City from 3:30pm on 26 November.
Will keep showing our support for Padmavati, Bhansali: IFTDA
Pandit said the blackout protest is to express solidarity with Padmavati and "protect the right to freedom of expression of creative individuals." He added, "Sanjay is a responsible filmmaker, and making a film on history is not something easy for him but a big responsibility."
"We are orphans as a community"
Earlier in November, amid protests against Padmavati, IFTDA and other cine organizations united in support of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Ashoke Pandit said that the film industry is hurt whenever "non-institutional bodies" (like the Rajput Karni Sena) target films and try to interfere with filmmakers' freedom of expression. He added it feels "as if we (film industry) are orphans as a community."
Rajput Karni Sena threatens Padmavati actors, makers
What triggered the Padmavati controversy was the assumption that the film contains some intimate scenes between Deepika Padukone's character Rajput Queen Padmavati (Maharawal Ratan Singh's wife) and Sultan Alauddin Khilji played by Ranveer Singh. Following this, Rajput Karni Sena, a Rajput caste group, started protesting and threatening the Padmavati makers not to release the film that could hurt Rajput community's sentiments.
Will keep democratically condemning protesters' actions: Pandit
Ashoke Pandit said: "These protesters have not watched the film, and Sanjay has already made it very clear by releasing a video that it is a tribute to Padmavati and no obscene scenes are there. We have faith in our Prime Minister…for justice to 'Padmavati."