Veteran actor Kamal Haasan, who has previously come out in support of Padmavati actress Deepika Padukone amid controversies, says that people in India are being over-sensitive on the whole issue.
"We are being over sensitive. I am saying so in the capacity of being an Indian. In a country where politicians wanted citizens to come upfront in the past... that doesn't mean I am dismissing off a whole group of people... There are enough Kamals not enough podiums," said Kamal during a discussion at the Times Delhi Lit Fest on Saturday.
Bhansali's attempt to bring alive the story of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati on the silver screen with his movie "Padmavati" hasn't gone down well with Hindu groups backed by the BJP. It features Deepika as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as her husband and a warrior king and Ranveer Singh essays Alauddin Khilji.
Bhansali faced many hiccups while shooting the film, but the protests escalated as the film neared its release date. There are conjectures that it "distorts history" regarding the Rajput queen, and Bhansali has denied it repeatedly.
The movie's release date has been deferred from the original December 1 date, but there are efforts from Hindu groups to have it banned.
Kamal, whose films too have faced threats on the same level be it for "Hey Ram" or "Vishwaroopam", says the current clamour around "Padmavati" is a "problem", but it is not new.
"There is a problem but it's not new. When my film 'Hey Ram' was to release, somebody in Congress (political party) thought it should be banned just by looking at the poster. But they did not know what was in the film. Censors were being extra careful. Certification board behaved like censor board," said Kamal, who has been a part of the film industry for almost five decades.
"All my films had a problem for reasons I am still trying to understand. Same goes for rumours when you send an sms and it distributes. We are always ready to believe the negativity first. It (protests) is wrong. After it ('Padmavati') comes out and then people have problem... that I still understand," he added.
Speaking on the slamming culture on social media like Twitter where individuals are free to opine, Kamal says "those who want it regulated have some logic of their own".
"They shouldn't do it but... some are far exceeding their freedom which is why they are slammed perhaps," he said.
"Everyone blames it on youth. It's not age talking it is the lack of reverence talking. Deeper and hurtful things come from the grown up," he added.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati is surrounded by controversies for distorting historical facts. Rajput Karni Sena has called for nationwide protest seeking ban on the film. The film’s scheduled release on December 1st has been deterred.
(with IANS Inputs)
For full coverage of controversy around Padmavati, click here.