Indian politician puts bounty on Deepika Padukone’s head over ‘Padmavati’ film

A man walks past a poster of the upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’ outside a theatre in Mumbai November 21, 2017. — Reuters pic
A man walks past a poster of the upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’ outside a theatre in Mumbai November 21, 2017. — Reuters pic

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MUMBAI, Nov 22 — Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s highly anticipated Bollywood epic historical Padmavati seems to be getting hit with more and more controversies each day.

Hindu groups have been protesting the release of the movie that stars Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor and now an official from India’s ruling BJP party has placed a bounty of 100 million rupees (RM6.2 million) on the heads of the film’s actress Deepika and its director Sanjay.

In the film, Deepika plays Rani Padmini, Shahid stars as her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh plays the menacing Alauddin Khilji.

The synopsis of the film reads: “When Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Khilji dynasty, hears of Rani Padmini’s beauty, he becomes desperate to catch a glimpse of her. He marches to Chittor from Delhi to see her, and upon seeing her, is instantly smitten by her. He then demands that the queen leave her husband, Maharawal Ratan Singh, the ruler of Mewar, for him. His obsession with the queen leads to the historic siege, resulting in war and many deaths.”

Right-wing Hindu groups have been targeting film for its rumoured depiction of a romantic dream sequence involving a mythical Hindu queen and an invading Muslim sultan — which Sanjay has denied.

The BJP, which also runs the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has distanced itself from this threat and has reportedly asked the official to issue a public apology for the bounty offer.

Following the threats, Deepika is said to have pulled out of an event scheduled to be held in the southern city of Hyderabad and police have been providing her and her family protection.

Meanwhile, Deepika’s boyfriend and star of the film Ranveer was quoted yesterday as saying that he has been asked not to comment on the film: “I am 200 per cent with the film and I stand by it as well as Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Given that it is very sensitive time right now, I have been specifically asked not to say anything. Whatever official communication with regards to the film needs to be made, you will receive it from the producers.”

Padmavati was initially set for release on December 1, but it has been postponed indefinitely at the moment. 

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