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Padmaavat’s Lyricists Respond To Swara Bhasker’s Open Letter, Says The Film Is ‘Empowering To Women’

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The co-writers of Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and lyricists of one of the songs from Padmaavat, Siddharth-Garima, have slammed actress Swara Bhasker’s open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Bhasker, in her letter, explains her disappointment towards the filmmaker choosing to glorify the horrifying practice of jauhar (sati) and wrote that the film made her feel reduced to a vagina. Taking umbrage, the musical duo wrote in defence of the film and pointed out how there was no glorification of a practice and was in fact empowering to women.

Titled ‘An Open Letter To All Vaginas’, the duo gives numerous examples in their piece, giving what the ‘real’ definition of feminism means.

Yes, women were repressed and India was patriarchal, it still is. But feminism is not about women doing things that men do.

Feminism is about taking a stand. Taking a decision and standing by it. About having the freedom to choose. It’s a thought that gives you freedom to just be. Not become equals or equally chutiyatic (wait that’s ‘vaginal’) as another gender.

In defence of Padmaavat, they cite explains of the fictional Rani Padmavati’s valour.

It was Padmavati’s choice and free will to not give herself up to Khilji. The question about life after rape does not arise. She, out of her free will, chose to embrace the fire rather than the tyrannical Alauddin. How is that any less empowering? It was a matter of choice and not forced upon them by their husbands! So, Padmavati was not a ‘rape victim’ who was so shamed that she didn’t have a right to live, as you make it out to be in your letter. Amazing what you all make it into.

The letter ends with their view on feminism.

“So people who feel like a ‘vagina’ after watching Padmaavati, should continue to feel like a ‘vagina’ for they would never understand the power it has. The power to create and run the world. Such people are the biggest road-blocks for ‘feminism’.”

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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 call 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.

Of course, Swara had a fitting response to Suchitra’s comment.

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