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Off With Your Heads: Padmavati Keeps India’s Scalp Industry Going

With his bounty on Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Haryana BJP chief media coordinator Suraj Pal Amu joins a long list of politicians vying for a pie of the publicity.


Updated:November 20, 2017, 1:29 PM IST
Off With Your Heads: Padmavati Keeps India’s Scalp Industry Going
Deepika Padukone in a still from the film Padmaavat. (Image: YouTube)

New Delhi: Haryana BJP chief media coordinator Suraj Pal Amu on Sunday said he would reward Rs 10 crore to those who behead Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika Padukone, the director and lead actor of the controversial movie Padmavati.

With the threat, Amu joins a long list of politicians and leaders who have resorted to death threats over raging controversies, vying for a pie of the publicity.

Here’s a look at the others:

Defending Charlie Hebdo attack

Right after gunmen attacked the office of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed a dozen people, BSP leader Haji Yakub Qureshi had allegedly defended the attack saying whoever showed disrespect to the Prophet will invite death. The leader had, however, denied the statement.

Bounty on Danish cartoonist

Yakub Qureshi, had, in 2006, stoked a controversy after he announced a reward of Rs 51 crore to anyone who would kill Danish cartoonist for a controversial cartoon on Prophet Mohammad. Qureshi had made the bounty offer at a public rally in Meerut.

51 buffalos for killing film director

Just before the release of Bollywood movie, Miss Tanakpur Hazir Ho, director Vinod Kapri was allegedly cornered at his studio in Mumbai. He sought police protection after a council of elders in Muzaffarnagar offered a bounty of 51 buffaloes to anyone who beheaded him for mocking them in the movie.

Bounty on Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

A RSS activist Kundan Chandrawat was arrested in Ujjain after he was seen announcing a bounty of Rs 1 crore for beheading Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, whom he held responsible for the political murders in the state.

Money on Mamata Banerjee’s head

A youth leader of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha announced a reward of Rs 11 lakh to anyone who would kill West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Yogesh Varshney made the announcement in Aligarh and a non-bailable warrant was issues against him.

Bounty on BYJM leader

Just a day after Varshney offered money for killing Mamata Banerjee, the shahi imam of Bengal’s Tipu Sultan Mosque announced a bounty of Rs 22 lakh to behead Varshney. The imam has previously issued fatwa against PM Narendra Modi and also offered Rs 25 lakh for anyone who would cut Modi’s beard, shave his head and also smear him with black ink.

Bounty on Azam Khan

Bajrang Dal announced a reward of Rs 51 lakh for anyone who would behead Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, who was booked for sedition on a complaint given by a VHP leader in Uttar Pradesh. Khan had allegedly said that “some women terrorists took away private parts of Indian soldiers”, something, he said, was being widely reported in the media with reference to a Maoist attack in Jharkhand.

Million dollar bounty on Salman Rushdie

Hardline Iranian news media outlets raised close to $4 million to anyone for killing India-born author Salman Rushdie last year. The bounty came almost 27 years after a death fatwa was issued by Iran’s former supremo Ayatollah Khemeini over Rushdie’s controversial novel, The Satanic Verses. Much before the release of the book, India banned the import of it, though possessing it is still not a crime.

Boycotting Taslima Nasrin

The author has faced severe backlash in India, especially in West Bengal. In March 200, when she visited Mumbai, many threatened to ‘burn her alive.’ In 2006, the shahi imam of Tipu Sultan mosque in Kolkata yet again raked up a controversy after he offered money to anyone who was willing to ‘blacken’ Nasrin’s face.

In 2007, while she was in Hyderabad, she was attacked by three members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, and later that year again in Kolkata, allegedly by members of the same group. Nasrin was forced to leave her ‘adopted city’ Kolkata post the protests.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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