Lucknow, Nov 18: There seems to be no end to hate-mongers who are baying for the blood of Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali over their upcoming film, Padmavati.
After a resident of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of Bhansali and Deepika on Thursday, another group of protesters in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state announced one more bounty on the heads of the actor and the director.
On Friday, a group of people in UP's Sambhal while protesting against the period drama, based on the life of queen Padmini of Chittor, Rajasthan, declared a bounty of Rs 50 lakh on the heads of Deepika and Bhansali.
"Protest against #Padmavati in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal, protesters say they have declared a bounty of Rs.50 lakh on director Sanjay Leela Bhansali & actor Deepika Padukone," tweeted ANI.
The protest over the Bollywood big-budget drama, which is fast spreading across the country, has been triggered by allegations that the makers of Padmavati have wrongly portrayed queen Padmini in the film and thus the movie hurt the sentiments of Hindus and Rajput community in particular.
It's the fringe group, the Rajput Karni Sena, which is taking a lead in protesting against the movie.
On Thursday, Meerut's Thakur Abhishek Som of Sardhana Chaubisi, who claimed affiliation to the Samajwadi Party (SP), said that his community, Kshatriya, will not tolerate wrongful portrayal of the queen and meddling with its rich heritage.
Claiming that his political affiliations had nothing to do with his stand, Som warned that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be able to save the Bollywood filmmaker and the actor.
Demanding a ban on the movie, Som told the media that it would be better if Deepika left the country or else her head will be chopped off. "I am making this declaration on behalf of the Kshatriya Samaj," he said.
He accused Bhansali of lacking knowledge about history and that he was only interested in box office profits even if it meant meddling with history. Som said he was ready to face the consequence of his stand on the issue.
Looking at the numbers of threats being received by both Bhansali and Deepika, special police protection is being provided to both of them. In fact, the Rajput Karni Sena has announced a Bharat Bandh (all-India shutdown) if the film gets released on December 1, as announced by the makers of Padmavati. The film is currently waiting for a clearance from the Censor Board.
On Friday, the Censor Board decided not to watch the movie on technical grounds. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), popularly called the Censor Board, has told the film's producers that its application had been found to be "incomplete". With the latest snub by the Censor Board, it looks like the release of the film will be delayed.