Shabana Azmi slams Smriti Irani for silence, calls for IFFI’s boycott


Veteran actor and social activist Shabana Aazmi has slammed Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani for her silence on the raging controversy surrounding Padmavati and threats issued to Deepika Padukone.

Azmi wrote, “Smriti Irani is preparing IFFI dats possible only bcoz the Indian Film Industry brings such acclaim to it but keeps quiet about Padmavati!. (sic)”

Right wing groups have called for the murder of the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and its lead female protagonist, Deepika Padukone. Irani has yet to condemn the attacks on the creative freedom of acting fraternity allegedly because those indulging in terror activities belong to the ideological family of the BJP.

Rajasthan’s Hindu group, Karni Sena, whose members attacked the director in January this year in Jaipur where he was shooting the film, threatened to maim the film’s lead actor, Deepika Padukone.

Meerut-based Sarv Bhahmin Mahasabha, had shot off a petition with blood to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and announced a bounty of Rs five crores on Bhansali’s head.

Azmi also called on her fraternity to boycott IFFI, scheduled to be held in Goa.

She wrote, “The entire film industry should boycott IFFI in protest against the threats to @deepikapadukone SLB and #Padmavati.”

In another tweet, she wrote, “This is exactly like HKL Bhagat and Congress celebrating IFFI in Delhi after the murder of Safdar Hashmi in 1989.Cultural Annihilation.”

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), also known as Censor Board, has returned Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed “Padmavati” back to the makers as the application for the certification was believed to be “incomplete”. This essentially means that the film may not be able to release on 1 December, as originally scheduled.

Reacting to the development, Azmi on Friday questioned the Censor Board’s decision to send back the application for the certification of “Padmavati”.

“#Padmavatis application to CBFC has been sent back bcoz of incomplete formalities! Really? Or to keep fires stoked for electoral gains?,” the actor tweeted.