Monday, 29 November 2021

Padmavati row: Nandita Das on power of art

Maati Maay27

BOLLYWOOD: Actor-filmmaker Nandita Das said demanding a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmavati only reinforces the fact that art is powerful.

The 48-year-old director said suppressing an artist’s expression reflects that somewhere the work of art is challenging a certain thought process.

“Art doesn’t create revolutions, it subliminally goes into our subconscious – the good and the bad. And because people want to ban that [Padmavati], you realise the power of art.

“It must threaten a certain way of seeing. [And] until we see multiple points of view on anything, how are we going to make an informed choice?” said Das.


Padmavati has been in the line of fire, with various Rajput groups and political leaders accusing the director of “distorting historical facts”, with protests across the country calling for a ban.

Das, whose film Manto is eyeing a release next year, was speaking at a session ‘Remembering Manto’ at the Times LitFest here.

When asked if the artistic freedom was under threat she recalled the time her films had faced trouble with the people and the CBFC.

“I remember with Fire, I faced it when it came out. With Water, I had to shave my head. Before even the film was made, they said it was going to be against Hindu culture.” said Das.

“I think it is time we do speak up. Otherwise people are going to tell us what to wear, what to eat or whom to talk to. It is going to be very, very dangerous trend. What can a two-hour film do?” she added.

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