Deepika Padukone
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Deepika Padukone on Swara Bhaskar's criticism of Padmaavat

By HT

Swara Bhaskar’s letter to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, opining how the jauhar sequence in Padmaavat “reduced her just to a v*****”, has led to a frenzied discourse. 
 
The film’s Padmavati, Deepika Padukone, has now spoken about the scene and Swara Bhaskar’s open letter to Zoom TV in an interview. The actor said Anarkali of Aarah actor may have skipped the disclaimer which clearly says there is no intent to glorify the practice.
 
Speaking to the TV channel, Deepika said, “She probably missed the disclaimer at the beginning of the film. You probably went out to buy some popcorn and missed the initial disclaimers that come out. I think, secondly, the fact that it is important to view a film in totality and to see in which period it was set in. Third of all, I think for me this film is not just about the act (jauhar) that they all committed, but it stood for so much more. For me, it’s a celebration of women and their strength, power and dignity.”
 
In her open letter to the filmmaker published online on Sunday, Anarkali of Aarah star slammed Bhansali for “glorifying jauhar” in his period drama. “Women have the right to live, despite being raped sir. Women have the right to live, despite the death of their husbands, male ‘protectors’, ‘owners’, ‘controllers of their sexuality’.. whatever you understand the men to be. Women have the right to live — independent of whether men are living or not. Women have the right to live. Period. Women are not only walking talking vaginas,” she wrote in her letter.
 
Reacting to the letter, Shahid had earlier told Navbharat Times in an interview, “Yes, I got to know that Swara has written an open letter. But I haven’t read the letter, it is very long and we are all busy. I have no clue what is her issue but I think her issues are with Bhansali sir. I can say that this is not the right time for such things. Padmaavat represents the entire film industry, it represents freedom of expression and freedom of speech. The journey of the film, reaching the audience has been very tough and the entire film industry stands with us right now. Given the circumstances, her letter seems quite frivolous. Though, she has expressed her personal views and everyone has the right to voice their opinion.”
 
Padmaavat, which released amid violent protests on January 25 after months of controversies, features Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmini, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji and is based on the 13th century poem by Malik Mohammad Jayasi, Padmavat.