Mumbai, Jan 28: A host of Bollywood celebrities including filmmakers Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Mukesh Bhatt on Friday condemned the attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali by activists of a Rajput community during the shooting of a film, and called for a united stand by the film industry to ensure safety of artists.
A group of activists force-stopped the shooting of the film, Padmavati, being helmed by the National Award-winning filmmaker, by vandalising the movie set at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur and also assaulted him, alleging distortion of facts.
Johar, who recently faced the ire of a right wing organisation during the release of his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, said he could understand what Bhansali must be going through. "Having been through many instances of turmoil during a film shoot or release...i understand Sanjay's emotion at this point...I stand by him," Johar said.
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap also exhorted the industry to unite. "Can once the whole film industry come together and take a stand, and refuse to be a pony that all ... ride on?? "At the same time Shame on you Karni Sena, you make me feel ashamed to be a Rajput.. bloody spineless cowards...," he said.
Veteran producer-director Ram Gopal Varma expressed angst against the government for not ensuring safety of artists. "@narendramodi I don't know when ur achchey din will come, but Bhansali incident makes me feel India's days going back to heights of burey din. Bhansali is an artiste and if any country cannot protect its artistes from street hooligans it doesn't deserve to be called a country," he tweeted.
President of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India Mukesh Bhatt said, "The most unfortunate thing is that we filmmakers and creative artists live in a house of glass. We are always scared that anyone can come and hit a stone and nothing will be done about it. There is nothing done for our protection."
"I don't know what's the solution for this. Who do we arrest when it was a group? I feel enraged on just hearing about it. The whole film fraternity is with him (Bhansali)," Bhatt told reporters in Mumbai at the launch of his his new web series, Maya.
Several other celebrities have rallied their support also took to Twitter to condemn the incident. The period drama, scheduled to release this November, stars Deepika Padukone in the lead role of Rajput queen Padmavati and features Shahid Kapoor as Raja Ratan Singh. Ranveer Singh is essaying the role of Alauddin Khilji, the medieval-era Delhi sultan, who falls in love with Padmavati.