On The Rise: Publicity hungry outfits faking protests in the name of honour

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These days anyone in this country can feel aggrieved. About what? Well, about just about anything.

And when it comes to films that are in the making or about to be released, it gives the publicity hungry ruffians with vested interests an added advantage: they can hold the filmmakers and others associated with the movie, right from the producers, the directors, the starcasts and others including hundreds of those getting their livelihood from there, to ransom.

The brouhaha surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie Padmaavat has still been going on. Look at how despite the Apex Court’s directive asking state Governments to ensure smooth release of the movie, none of the dispensations in BJP ruled states provided a safe and secure atmosphere to cinema and multiplex owners or the confidence to go ahead and release the movie without the fear of a backlash from the hoodlums of Karni Sena out to create menace on the streets. The film was not shown in any of the cinema outlets in Rajasthan, except for the show arranged in Jodhpur for the Rajasthan High Court Judge.

The mayhem and utter lawlessness by members of a certain community was allowed to perpetuate despite the clearance given to the movie by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with a few changes including a change in the name of the movie from Padmavati to Padmaavat. The film unit had also clarified that there were no objectionable scenes involving Deepika Padukone, who plays the protagonist in the movie.

The long arm being given to those who tried to take law in their own hands and the politics being played around it was enough to send a message that in this country, if you have the leverage to influence and can act as fodder for politics of vote bank being festered by political units, then you need not fear the wrath of police action or administrative apathy. Look at what happened in Rajasthan and other parts of the country in the run  – up the release of the movie. In Rajasthan, parts of Gujarat and Haryana, there was mayhem that went on for several hours, disrupting normal life even as those responsible for it were allowed to get away with it. Despite hoodlums running amok, there was no strong action against them as seemingly, there hands were tied by lack of political will.

Even as nuisance being created around the release of the movie was continuing, those involved were having a free run. One clear reason behind it was political in nature. Both the BJP and the Congress in the desert state were wary of criticizing the hoodlums from the Karni Sena or hitting out at the violence and the vandalism in the name of Rajput valour and honour.

And now, it seems that even others feel they can take the common populace for a ride and hold the state to ransom if they can really have enough in their kitty to bargain and strike a deal. After Padmaavat, the so – called custodians of Brahmin community also stood up and claimed that they fear that the history of Rani Laxmibai is being distorted in the making of the movie, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. They also mentioned that they will not allow the making of the movie to take place until they get assurance that history has not been distorted with in the making of the movie. Although the Sarva Brahmin Mahasabha later claimed that they have received written assurance that the historical facts related to Rani Laxmibai has not been distorted in the making of the movie, what it clearly shows is a dangerous trend where publicity hungry outfits can try to hold the state and people to ransom to achieve their own personal motives.

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