Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and assaulted on Friday by members of Karni Sena who staged an angry protest at Jaigarh fort in Jaipur where Bhansali was shooting for his next, Padmavati. In a video that has gone viral, protesters are seen running amok, damaging cameras and other shooting equipment while raising slogans and spewing abuses in Hindi.
Protesters entered in large numbers and started getting violent before the crew of Padmavati could even blink. The mob soon surrounded Bhansali who was seated in front of a monitor. Even as his team tried to shield him and take him to safety, the mob unleashed its fury on the defenceless director and slapped and assaulted him as can been seen in the video.
The protesters then turned their ire towards the costly film equipment and smashed to the ground almost everything that they could lay their hands on. The film stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. None of the stars were present during the ruckus.
“The film is presenting wrong facts about Padmavati. Our basic protest is about distortion of historic facts which will not be tolerated,” Vikram Singh, a Karni Sena activist told PTI. This is the same body which earlier protested against Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar. It has raised objections against Padmavati saying that the film incorrectly portrays Rani Padmini.
Thankfully, police was called in who soon escorted Bhansali to safety and arrested the troublemakers. The shooting of the film has been temporarily halted. Karan Johar came out in support of Bhansali and tweeted, “Having been through many instances of turmoil during a film shoot or release…i understand Sanjay’s emotion at this point…I stand by him… Am appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali….this is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity!!”
Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker, who has also been at the receiving end of the same organisation’s ire, also wrote, “Shocking! Appalling!! Despairing!!! And still, we shall not stop making what we want to!! Sanjay stay strong! I am with you! #Padmavati.”