Swara Bhasker, who wrote an opinion piece slamming Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat last week, continues to face a lot of threats and hate online with several social media users and celebrities calling her a “Feminazi” or “fake feminist”. However, support poured in too.
Television host Mini Mathur lauded Swara for calling out a highly revered filmmaker, something very few would do. Saying that there are very few like Swara, she condemned the vitriol that the actress has been facing for a few days now.
Actress Shruti Seth, historian Irfan Habib, comedians Kaneez Surka, Sumukhi Suresh, activists like Shehla Rashid, Gurmehar Kaur, journalist Vinod Dua too tweeted in support of her.
It’s appalling how everyone has swooped down so cruelly on @ReallySwara ! Come on guys.. whichever side of the debate you’re on.. you cannot abuse her for expressing what she feels! She is a brave, independent voice. Respect that. Not many of her ilk left around here.
— Mini Mathur (@minimathur) January 31, 2018
Swara Bhaskar @ReallySwara is one the rare ones in Bollywood who has the conviction to speak her mind without fear. More strength to you????
— S lrfan Habib (@irfhabib) February 1, 2018
“We May or May not agree with what you have to say but we will defend to death your right to say it” @ReallySwara you are the voice we need!!
— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 1, 2018
Don’t engage with mindless abusive trolls. People have every right to disagree with your view. Have balanced discussions and listen to contrary views. It’s important to know other aspects to break out of your own prejudices. But DO NOT ENGAGE WITH ABUSERS.
— Shruti Seth (@SethShruti) February 1, 2018
Disgusted by the sleazy comments directed at Swara Bhaskar by Vivek Agnihotri. Such men cannot tolerate a woman speaking her mind. All strength and support to one of Bollywood’s most talented actresses, @ReallySwara You are an inspiration.
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) February 1, 2018
Thank you #VinodDua sir for this shout out! ???????? part 1 pic.twitter.com/zSO0K4dS2D
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) February 1, 2018
Published by The Wire, Swara’s open letter titled ‘At The End of Your Magnum Opus… I Felt Reduced to a Vagina – Only’ draws attention to the misogyny portrayed in the film.
Reacting to the trolls, the actress said that she has the freedom to express her opinion. “Everybody has right to express opinion. I kept my views in a very polite manner & had no wrong intentions. I put forward a few legitimate questions. I didn’t expect so much chaos just because I used a word which starts with ‘V’,” she said.
Ever since the film released, critics and audience have mostly appreciated the film’s setting and storyline, despite its glorification of jauhar. A small section of film enthusiasts pointed out that the women in Bhansali’s film were reduced to being submissive and an object of honour for their husbands.
Most notably, the co-writers of Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and lyricists of one of the songs from Padmaavat, Siddharth-Garima, slammed Swara’s letter. Titled ‘An Open Letter To All Vaginas’, the duo gave numerous examples in their piece on what is the ‘real’ definition of feminism.