Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone responds to Indian politician putting bounty on her head

‘I will never feel scared. Fear is not an emotion I have ever identified with’

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 22 November 2017 16:43
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Padmavati - trailer

Indian actress Deepika Padukone has responded to death threats made over her part in a new Bollywood film, saying she feels angry and let down - but that she will “never feel scared”.

The release of the blockbuster Padmavati, which she stars in, has been delayed after a politician from India’s governing BJP party offered to pay a $1.5m (£1.13m) bounty for anyone who beheaded Ms Paukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Protests against the film have been carried out by Hindu groups, while Suraj Pal Amu, the chief media co-ordinator for the BJP in northern Haryana state told the ANI news agency on Sunday that “we will reward the ones beheading them - with 10 crore rupees - and also take care of their family’s needs”.

The film, set in the 14th century, depicts the life of queen Padmini. It has been criticised by right-wing groups that it misrepresents history by showing a love scene between the queen and a Muslim invader, which the director has denied.

It has also been criticised for apparently showing the queen’s midriff in a dance scene.

Responding to the threats of violence and death threats levied against her for her part in the film, Ms Paukone told the Mumbai Mirror: “Well, at this point, as a woman, an artiste and a citizen of this country I feel angry, I feel let down and I also find it amusing.”

She added: “I will never feel scared. Fear is not an emotion I have ever identified with.”

Al Jazeera reports that the BJP has distanced itself from the comment. A spokesperson said in response to Mr Amu’s comment: “A show cause notice has been sent to him. There is rule of law in Haryana and no one can issue such fatwas.”

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