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“I Am Not Endorsing Jauhar In Padmaavat”, Says Sanjay Leela Bhansali

While refusing to react to actress Swara Bhaskar’s Open Letter condemning the alleged endorsement of the ancient practice of  Jauhar(self-immolation), filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali takes the opportunity to address the issue of jauhar.

“Nowhere in the entire episode showing these fabulously  brave women  perishing rather than succumbing  to the advances  of the invader have I come forward to express my own approval of  the  practice of jauhar.In Satyajit Ray’s Devi Sharmila Tagore’s character  is seen as a victim  of blind religious faith. It didn’t mean that Manikda(Ray) was endorsing blind faith.”

   Bhansali dismisses the belief that he’s propagating jauhar in Padmaavat. “It’s like sayingRitwick Ghatak approved of tuberculosis in Meghe Dhaka Tara just because his heroine succumbed to  it…or that Hrishikesh Mukherjee endorsed cancer  in Anand…It is the story, it is what happened …Why must a filmmaker be answerable to socio-political interpretations for every action and reaction in his cinema?” asks  Bhansali.

 The filmmaker has received tremendous responses to the jauhar sequence. “Not all positive. But that’s okay. A  healthy debate  is an essential part of every democracy. I am glad my film is giving people a reason to think aloud.”

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