Kolkata: Bengal movie industry - Tollywood - on Tuesday observed a 15-minute token strike to condemn the protests by Karni Sena against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati.
All Tollywood producers and directors stalled their work between 12 pm and 12.15 pm. The Bengali film industry has rarely united to call a token strike in protest.
The protest comes few days after West Bengal Mamata Banerjee too condemned the protest by a section of people against Bhansali and Deepika Padukone. She also welcomed Bhansali to host a premiere of Padmavati in Bengal.
Director Goutam Ghose said, “We may have issues and differences of opinion but that does not mean that we will threat someone. We condemn the nationwide protest by some against the release of Movie Padmavati.”
Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee said, “We have observed a token strike to condemn the statement of a senior BJP leader from Haryana who made objectionable comment against our Chief Minister. This is unfortunate that people are people are crossing limits in protesting against the Movie. There are ways to deal with situation. Issues can be argued but threat will not be acceptable.”
On November 20, Mamata Banerjee condemned personal attacks on the makers and actors of Padmavati and termed the whole controversy as unfortunate.
In a Twitter post, Mamata had said, “The Padmavati controversy is not only unfortunate but also a calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves.”
While urging the entire film industries to stand together against such violent forces, she said, “We condemn this super emergency. All in the film industry must come together and protest in one voice.”
“She was a brave queen but Bhansali portrayed her in bad light and on November 22 we are going to organise a series of protests across the state,” Trust convenor Manoj Kumar Singh had said.
The Bharat Kshatriya Samaj Trust in Bengal also claimed the film has a scene of the invader Alauddin Khilji romancing the Rajput queen of Chittorgarh but this has already been denied by director Bhansali, and journalists privy to a private screening have already reported that there is not a single scene of the two together.
This is not for the first time when Mamata stand beside Bollywood actors. In May 3, 2017, Mamata came out in support of Bollywood Actress Kajol who was trolled for uploading ‘Beef’ video on social networking site few days ago.
Then addressing a public meet in South Dinajpur, Mamata had said, “It is an alarming situation that some people are being harassed online for expressing their food habits on social platform. I will not reveal the name of the actress. She has worked in many films with Shah Rukh Khan. Recently she had posted a video online and after that she was harassed and trolled online.”
“It is unfortunate she had to clarify that it was not beef but buffalo meat. This is a dangerous trend in this country. Hinduism teaches tolerance. Religion teaches us to love everyone. Religion means peace. These people who are indulging in violence in the name of religion are a shame on Hinduism. Why does she (Kajol) have to give a clarification?,” she had said.