Ashoke Pandit: Bollywood bullying has only begun
The Shri Rajput Karni Senas declaration that they would make a film on director Sanjay Leela Bhansalis mother marks a new low in bullying. But filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, one of the more vocal representatives of Bollywood, says it's only the beginning.
Pandit, vice president of the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA), said: "The Bollywood bullying has only begun. Do they think the Karni Sena and other fringe groups are going to stop with PADMAAVAT? They've tasted blood. They will come back for more.
"They have realized this is an entertainment industry filled with cowards."
Pandit takes a dig at the empowered superstars who kept quiet through the attack on PADMAAVAT.
"Apart from Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Farhan Akhtar, no one spoke out while Sanjay Bhansali was being attacked, not even the big superstars who have worked with Bhansali. They all looked the other way while the fire raged. Which is really strange. No one was asking them to descend on the streets with banners and candles.
"All you had to do was tweet your support or write a blog on Facebook. Big stars who are usually so vocal on social media were suddenly paralyzed by fear," he said.
Pandit feels groups such as Karni Sena will now "try to muscle into as many films as possible".
"They will demand to know why Aamir Khan, a Muslim, is making 'Mahabharat'. Or why Mohammed Rafi sang one of the most beautiful bhajans 'Mann tarpat hari darshan ko aaj'. The nightmare is never going to end now for the film industry."
[By Subhash K. Jha]