“Creativity should not be subjected to such treatment,” said feisty Jaya Bachchan ji in the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha yesterday while speaking out against the ghastly physical assault on Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Padmavati in Jaipur recently. Jaya ji said that intolerance is growing in India and a select few assume that they represent the masses under certain political patronage and take law into their hands.
“Sometimes, they are threatened, sometimes films are not allowed to be screened, sets are vandalised and it takes a violent turn as it happened in Jaipur recently. What message are we sending to the film fraternity, which is one of the most important and vibrant ambassador of the country?” Jaya ji said in her inimitable no nonsense style.
Many big voices from within Bollywood raised their voice against the attack on Mr Bhansali but they didn’t get any support from the authorities that matter. I watched an advertisement for ‘Remonetise India’ on television recently where several celebrities urged the citizens to turn cashless. Bollywood is ‘used’ as per convenience but in times of distress the apathy and indifference showed towards them screams for attention. The division within Bollywood comes to the fore when the likes of Annu Kapoor brazenly defend the attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali by challenging the defenders of free speech to make a film on Prophet Muhammad. I have spoken to Bollywood folks off camera who have told me how Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an extremely difficult man who misbehaves with his assistants and actors. Does that justify some thugs coming and bashing him in broad daylight? The complexes, jealousies and disunity within Bollywood are some of the biggest reasons why in spite of having a tremendous reach all across the world, anyone can trample upon the creative spirit and there is NO squeak of resentment from creative forces or a callously indifferent political dispensation.
Thank you Jaya ji. You have given hope to many who believe in dignity of creativity. More power to you and may your tribe grow…