Just when we thought director Sanjay Leela Bhansali would finally breathe a sigh of relief after the release of his controversial historical drama, ‘Padmaavat’, Swara Bhaskar, an actress known for her outspoken thoughts and controversial characters on-screen, has grabbed the limelight by writing an open letter to the director.
She wrote an open letter in The Wire after watching the Deepika Padukone-starrer film and in her long essay, she complained:
“That’s what I felt like at the end of your magnum opus. I felt like a vagina. I felt reduced to a vagina-only.”
While being hopeful that Bhansali would offer “some sort of a critique” of Sati and Jauhar in the film, she stressed that she’s aware that the film is based in 13th century when they were a part of our society. However she rebuked her own comment by saying:
“Practices like Sati, Jauhar, FGM, Honour Killings should not be glorified because they don’t merely deny women equality, they deny women personhood. They deny women humanity. They deny women the right to life.”
She also went on to give a reference of the Nirbhaya case by saying:
“The context of your film is India in the 21st century; where five years ago, a girl was gang-raped brutally in the country’s capital inside a moving bus.”
Her comments didn’t go down very well with Twitter and caused a flurry of comments. Take a look at some of them:
Then, why did you do Raanjhana in which stalking was glorified ?
Let a movie be a movie only and not make it a platform for judging socio-political inclinations.
— Ashish (@ashish_2wts) January 28, 2018
I read the open letter @ReallySwara has written to Sanjay Leela Bhansali & I found it nothing but a rubbish. Basically, Swara is dug in mislaid sense of feminism so deeply that she doesn’t understand that if the film is based in a certain era, it shows the condition of that era.Advertisement
— Rahul Raut (@Rahulrautwrites) January 28, 2018
Swara Bhasker @ReallySwara is entitled to her view but it is totally unfair to judge a woman who commits #Jauhar (suicide) if her only choice was to be a sex-slave. Besides, it is absurd to use modern yardstick to judge medieval societies with different standards altogether.
— Aarti Tikoo Singh (@AartiTikoo) January 28, 2018
Funny&very that @ReallySwara THINKS she did a good job at writing and calls it ‘comprehensible’ with that shoddy piece of eyeball grabbing pompous piece objectifying women to just her private part. So much for her fake feminism and ‘pay cheque-ed’ writing in Urban Naxal tabloids!
— Shubhrastha (@Shubhrastha) January 29, 2018
Super saddened to read your views about #Padmaavat! And more surprised as you know the movie craft yourself!
A difference of opinion is one thing but with your views you’ve belittled the entire women community!
Can we say some ‘jealousy in the air for #SwaraBhaskar?’
— Priyanka Shukla (@Starseed_Me) January 28, 2018
During the Jallianwala massacre, many MEN preferred death by jumping into a well rather than by the bullets of the enemy.
So @reallyswara, get your empty head out of your vagina and learn a new word today – ‘Honour’
— ShankhNaad (@ShankhNaad) January 28, 2018
Calling her ‘DUMB’, one Twitter user was quick to respond:
Hi @ReallySwara, Jauhar and Sati was not a custom or a norm. Rajput females made a choice just like Yezidis did. Seems History and reasoning is not Bollywood’s forte after all. Are you Dumb or Are you Dumb? Really Swara? LOL!
— अंकित जैन फेन (@Chopdasaab) January 29, 2018
The comments continued…
— Evil Aryan 🕉️ (@DeplorablePagan) January 29, 2018
Irony died of a vaginal infection when a FEMINIST @ReallySwara
used the word Vagina disparagingly, to express she was ashamed.
— Rupa Murthy (@ProudBhagavathi) January 29, 2018
An unofficial account of Farooq Abdullah had something to say:
Basically, @ReallySwara says she wants to get raped instead of living a respectful life.
Ladies like Swara are disgrace to our society. pic.twitter.com/T5x0AigDG3
— Farrago Abdullah (@abdullah_0mar) January 29, 2018
And more comments followed:
I am waiting to see @ReallySwara hold a placard reading “I am Vagina”.. and BBC, Time, Huffpost etc featuring her.. and then her being invited to LIT FESTS 😂
— Man Key 🙈🙉🙊 (@HospitalBaba) January 28, 2018
— Shash (@pokershash) January 29, 2018
Even the celebrities like actor-singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthi left no stone unturned by voicing her opinion. Her reaction was quite fiery!
Funny that an actress who can play an erotic dancer/ prostitute with such elan should feel like a vagina after watching a story of a pious queen . What standards are these …tch tch
— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) 28 January 2018
Director Ashoke Pandit, Vice President of IMPPA (Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association), said:
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) January 28, 2018
Will Sanjay Leela Bhansali give a reply to Swara Bhaskar? We will have to wait and see!