Physical threats unacceptable: Naidu on ‘Padmavati’ row

Naidu said that no matter if one agrees or disagrees with the freedom of expression and the freedom of press, the debate should be allowed to go on

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said physical threats and obstruction of filmmakers were unacceptable in a democracy and urged those opposing the release of film Padmavati to protest peacefully and lawfully.

"Physical threats and physical obstruction of filmmakers is not acceptable. Protesters should protest lawfully, peacefully," Naidu said at the inaugural session of the Times Litfest here.

A raging controversy has been on over Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama Padmavati with several organisations across the country opposing the release of the movie. The Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor starrer was scheduled to be released on December 1, but it has now been deferred.

Naidu said that no matter if one agrees or disagrees with the freedom of expression and the freedom of press, the debate should be allowed to go on.

"India always believed in pluralistic traditions and ethos and never allowed narrow and bigoted views or practices to rear their ugly heads," he said.

Naidu also said that while dissent was agreeable, "disintegration is not acceptable".

"That is the bottom line and any attempt to undermine integrity and unity of India by forces inimical to growth of India must be nipped in the bud."

IFFI asks 'S Durga' maker to submit film's censored version

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter
Poster of the film S Durga

After a stand-off which lasted several days, IFFI organisers have now written to S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan asking him to submit a censored version of the film for consideration.

A spokesperson for the filmmaker told IANS that the required documents and film copies would be submitted to the IFFI authorities by Saturday afternoon.

A letter from Sunit Tandon, director of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), was uploaded on a social media site by Sasidharan late on Friday.

In the letter, Tandon asked him to submit copies of the film to the festival authorities, as per directions of the Kerala High Court.

"In this connection, you are requested to kindly provide the censored version of S Durga in 35mm print/DCP, Blueray, along with two DVD copies to IFFI, Goa. Please also submit a copy of the censor certificate," Tandon said.

Speaking to IANS on Saturday, Kannan Nayar, the film's lead actor, said that copies of the film as well as the censor certificate would be submitted to Tandon's office by today afternoon.

"We have the copies of the film, but the censor certificate will be received by us from Kerala by afternoon, after which we will submit all the required documents and film copies to the IFFI director," Nayar said.

The last few days has seen a standoff between the makers of "S Durga" and the festival authorities over screening of the controversial film, which was one of the two films to be dropped from the screening schedule of IFFI's Indian Panorama section.

The festival officials have been tight-lipped over the issue, despite an order earlier this week by the Kerala High Court directing IFFI organisers to screen the film.

On Friday the High Court, despite a request from the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting, had also refused to stay its earlier order.

The cast of the film, which is present at the festival, had also accused IFFI organisers of harassment and succumbing to political pressure, which they said was the reason why the film was not being screened at IFFI.

Was great working with Akshay: Radhika Apte

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter
File photo of actress Radhika Apte

Actress Radhika Apte, who will be seen with National Award winner Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film Padman, says working with him was great.

Asked about working with Akshay, Radhika told IANS: "It was great working with Akshay. The film is releasing in January."

Padman, which also stars Sonam Kapoor, is releasing on Republic Day next year, focuses on menstruation and women's health.

The film is inspired by the life of Coimbatore-based Arunachalam Muruganantham, who found a way to make affordable sanitary napkins for women in his village.

Talking about her upcoming projects, Radhika said: "I am doing Padman. I am shooting for Bazaar with Saif Ali Khan. I am doing 'Shoot The Piano Player', it's just a working title, and 'Bombairiya'."

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