Physical threats unacceptable: Naidu on ‘Padmavati’ row

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said physical threats and obstruction of filmmakers were unacceptable in a democracy and urged those opposing the release of film “Padmavati” to protest peacefully and lawfully.

“Physical threats and physical obstruction of filmmakers is not acceptable. Protesters should protest lawfully, peacefully,” Naidu said at the inaugural session of the Times Litfest here.

A raging controversy has been on over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama “Padmavati” with several organisations across the country opposing the release of the movie. The Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor starrer was scheduled to be released on December 1, but it has now been deferred.

Naidu said that no matter if one agrees or disagrees with the freedom of expression and the freedom of press, the debate should be allowed to go on.

“India always believed in pluralistic traditions and ethos and never allowed narrow and bigoted views or practices to rear their ugly heads,” he said.

Naidu also said that while dissent was agreeable, “disintegration is not acceptable”.

“That is the bottom line and any attempt to undermine integrity and unity of India by forces inimical to growth of India must be nipped in the bud.”

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