The chief media coordinator for India’s ruling political party has offered a $1.5 million bounty to behead a Bollywood actress and a film director.
Surajpal Amu, of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, supported threats against the actors of the upcoming film “Padmavati” over claims that the movie distorts a famous legend of a 14th-century Rajput queen’s love affair with a Muslim invader. Amu offered the reward to behead the film’s star, Deepika Padukone, and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali during a rally Sunday, India’s ANI news agency reports.
“I want to congratulate the Meerut youth for announcing Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika, and Bhansali. We will reward the ones beheading them, with Rs 10 crore, and also take care of their family’s needs,” Amu said.
A crore is equal to 10 million rupees.
“Padmavati” has caused an uproar within India’s Rajput community for months, sparking protests and vandalism although the story is based on a poem rather than actual history. Critics have said it’s hypocritical for members of the BJP to object to “Padmavati,” given the party’s own efforts to change history books by presenting a new outcome to the 1576 Battle of Haldighati.
A range of threats have been made against Padukone, Bhansali and Ranveer Singh, the film’s other star. The outcry against the film has delayed the Dec. 1 release and led to calls for increased security for Padukone.
Amu supported the violent actions, but other BJP leaders have denounced his bounty. Babul Supriyo, the party’s union minister, spoke out against the threats on Thursday in an interview with WION News.
“Deepika is just an artist who portrayed the character,” Supriyo said. “She did what she was told. Film is a director’s medium. Threats are deplorable and no one subscribes to it. Deepika Padukone is a beloved artist. The law of the land applies to everyone.”