Swara Bhasker, who recently wrote an open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, slamming Padmaavat for glorifying jauhar, has been predictably facing a lot of vitriol on social media. 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’: Swara Bhaskar on her open letter on #Padmaavat pic.twitter.com/huwC1yD8hR
— ANI (@ANI) January 30, 2018
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.
While many have lauded Swara for calling out a director of such high relevance, there are some like former actress Suchitra Krishnamurthy who slammed her for using the word ‘vagina’ several times in her letter.
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.
Shahid Kapoor, who plays Maharawal Ratan Singh in the film, too, responded to Swara’s open letter. “I haven’t read it yet. We have been busy with other things, but I think this isn’t the right time. Padmaavat is representing the film industry and it’s freedom of expression. It has been a tough battle for us to be able to bring forth the film to the audience. It feels great to receive support from the entire industry but it feels odd that someone said something on a personal level. That’s OK though as everyone has the right to say what they want but I haven’t read it yet.”