Padmavati row: Venkaiah shames violent protestors

Padmavati row: Venkaiah shames violent protestors

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu denounced threats to filmmakers and actors in the wake of the row over Padmavati, saying violent threats and announcing rewards for physical harm is not acceptable in a democracy.

Inaugurating a literary festival, Naidu said, "There is now a new problem over some films which people feel have hurt the sentiments of some religions or communities, which then leads to protests. While protesting, some people go overboard and announce rewards."

Naidu said, "Whether these fellows have that much money, I doubt. Everyone is announcing Rs 1 crore reward. Is it so easy to get Rs 1 crore?"

Naidu did not directly refer to the ongoing row over Padmavati. But it was clear he was alluding to certain groups - and some BJP leaders - who have made threats to Padmavati's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone, seeking a stay on the release of the film.

"You have the right to protest in a democratic manner, go to the appropriate authorities... you cannot physically obstruct and give violent threats. Let us not undermine the rule of law," he said, speaking at a literary festival. He stressed, however, that he was not talking about one particular film but speaking in a general sense.

Naidu, however, took the names of some films that were banned in the past, such as Garam Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka and Aandhi. The vice president also warned against selective condemnation and said it was wrong to link the issue to religion.