Padmaavat songwriters Siddharth and Garima have responded to actor Swara Bhaskar's open letter, in which she stated that she felt "reduced to a vagina–only" by the end of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus.
In the letter, Swara, who is known for being outspoken about her thoughts, had called out Bhansali for the glorification of Sati and Jauhar in the film's climax, writing "your act of thoughtlessly glorifying this misogynistic criminal practice is something you ought to answer for, Sir."
Soon after the open letter went viral, former actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi took to Twitter to express her opinion. She said it's funny that an actor who plays an "erotic dancer/ prostitute" referring to Swara's role in Anaarkali of Arrah, feels like a vagina after watching Bhansali's magnum-opus glorifying the acts of a Rajput queen.
Funny that an actress who can play an erotic dancer/ prostitute with such elan should feel like a vagina after watching a story of a pious queen . What standards are these ...tch tch— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) January 28, 2018
And now, the writer duo, who has previously worked with Bhansali in Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, has come out in support of the director and criticised Swara's letter. In a blog, titled "An open letter to all Vaginas", Siddharth and Garima have hit back at Swara for "misusing the word feminism". The duo also said that Padmavati committed self-immolation by choice and not by force.
"It’s the story of womens’ valour and their brave, harsh, radical decision. Their choice. That my dear is feminism. The power to be able to choose," they wrote.
"It was Padmavati’s choice and free will to not give herself up to (Alauddin) Khilji. The question about life after rape does not arise. She, out of her free will, chose to embrace the fire rather than the tyrannical Alauddin," they added.
They concluded the letter by saying, “so people who feel like a ‘vagina’ after watching Padmaavati, should continue to feel like a ‘vagina’ for they would never understand the power it has."
You can read the full open letter by Siddharth-Garima here.