No friend in need in B'wood? Padmavati controversy yields no support for Bhansali and co.

Mohammad Kanchwala
New Update
Padmavati controversy

They say a friend in need is a friend indeed, and that does make a lot of sense, except when your friends forget to show up when people are trying to kill you. The Padmavati controversy is a classic case of that unfortunate experience.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, associated with perhaps the most controversial film in Bollywood in recent times, have a bounty on their heads, and other body parts. While all of this ensued and the Padmavati controversy continues to escalate, Bollywood stars have conveniently forgotten to issue a word of support or pretty much do anything for their counterparts and friends.

The Bollywood elite too have been at the receiving end of threats, vandalism, petitions of bans on their films and many mindless controversies that fringe elements in India enjoy as their pastime.

Karan Johar, and Shah Rukh Khan being the most recent victims of these fringe elements although things did not quite get as ugly as they have with the Padmavati controversy. There are multiple bounties out to behead Sanjay Leela Bhansali, to chop off Deepika Padukone’s nose and threats of breaking Ranveer Singh’s legs.

While the raging fire of the Padmavati controversy burns, here’s what the who’s who of Bollywood found good enough to say, except for a few words of support for their friends.

Beginning with Shah Rukh Khan for obvious reasons, who happens to be one of the most followed Twitter personalities and has previously worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and starred opposite Deepika Padukone for her debut and many more films thereafter.

Amitabh Bachchan

The most followed Bollywood celebrity in India, behind only the Prime Minister of India, Amitabh Bachchan is one of the senior most and celebrated actors to have worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He represents Bollywood at many international events and his voice is not just heard, but respected by the people all over.

Sadly, even Senior Bachchan has not spoken a word about the Padmavati controversy. His support would have been valuable although he seems to have thought it was rather unnecessary for him to speak. It’s just a death threat you know.

Karan Johar

At the receiving end of many of such threats to ban his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Kara Johar had to broker a deal worth 5 Crore INR and donate the money to the Army in order to guarantee a safe release for his film.

Karan spoke about Padmavati, albeit only to praise Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s work, and say nothing more about the death threats and other threats of violence and vandalism by the fringe elements.

“I have faced a lot of controversies before the release of a film. I feel bad for a filmmaker, who is one of the best in the country. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has made a beautiful film and I hope he is protected by the people who understand that creativity is a form of expression. I think we should trust and believe him and give this film all the love.” These were Karan Johar’s words as reported by the Indian Express.

Salman Khan

Salman Khan doesn't tweet much, although some words of support for the director who worked with him in blockbusters, Khamoshi The Musical and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam would certainly have helped.

Akshay Kumar

Vocal on many national issues, it is rather unsavoury to watch someone as influential as Akshay Kumar not say a word about this, even as his wife continues to not give a single f***.

Whereas Akshay Kumar is promoting his upcoming movie, The Padman based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who mad cheaper sanitary napkins available to thousands of young women and girls through his efforts, and a machine he built for this purpose.

Farah Khan

Not much need be said about this one, except Farah was trying to conjure up a positive image for our country and the people here by extending her hospitality towards Ed Sheeran. Doubt he'll hold us all in high regard once he reads that people who issue bounties and death threats roam free.

Priyanka Chopra

'Global star' Priyanka Chopra is championing the cause of children all over the world through her efforts with UNICEF, although neither her nor her team have issued a statement about the Padmavati controversy as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone and other costars continue to live in fear of violence.

All these stars and many more have chosen to exercise restrain over their words when their fellow artists need their valuable support and reinforcement. It is during these times of difficulty that require a resolute and unified voice, when Bollywood falls short of the love and brotherhood that adorns the covers of Page 3 magazines.

It is now an individual battle for the artists and makers of Padmavati to brave these testing waters and we do hope they emerge victorious from this unfortunate circumstance.

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