Actors Vishal and Prakash Raj and film director S.K. Sasidharan on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court order staying the ban by three states on the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat.
“Justice has prevailed at the end of the day,” said Tamil actor Vishal, reacting to the apex court’s Thursday order striking down notifications by the Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana governments.
The court said it was incumbent upon the state governments to ensure law and order.
Prakash Raj, a leading south Indian actor, said the state governments were citing reasons of law and order for their action.
“These state governments should step down because they are not fit to be there,” he said, alleging that they were catering to fringe groups for votes.
The actors and the director were speaking at India Today Conclave South here.
Prakash Raj said the ban on release of the movie was a blatant attack on freedom of expression.
“I can understand if Rajputs in Rajasthan had some objections to it. (But) what did Gujarat and Haryana have to do with it,” he asked.
“They wanted to cut head and nose and they ended up cutting an ‘i’,” he said referring to the Censor Board clearing the movie after removing “i” from its earlier title Padmavati.
Welcoming the Supreme Court order, Vishal said he was the second-most happiest person after Bhansali.
Voicing concern over increasing number of restrictions on filmmaking, he said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was there to give certification and not to censor movies.
Sasidharan, whose movie Sexy Durga was given certification — which was later rescinded, took objections to questions from moderator as to why he did not make films using the names of holy personalities of other religions.
“I can answer why I made ‘Sexy Durga’ but these questions are aimed at dividing people. You want to pit one section of people against other,” the director said.
Defending Sasidharan, Prakash Raj wondered why anybody should have the objection to the title when the filmmaker has already made it clear that the film is not against Hinduism.
“They have no problem with Durga Wines, Durga mutton shop or Shiva mutton shop. There is a subject and thought process which I want to express and it decides my title but they want to divide people through such questions,” he said.