Through its actions in the run-up to the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati Padmaavat, the Shri Rajput Karni Sena has consistently shown that they’re possibly the most juvenile determined fringe group in the business.
After attacking school buses and burning down cars belonging to members of their own group (which, when you think of it, is really considerate of them), the Karni Sena have now announced a move that makes clear just who is going to win in this show of one-upmanship against Bhansali.
The revolutionary vengeance cooked up by the Karni Sena is this: They will make a film, on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s mother. And they’re going to title it Leela Ki Leela. Whoever said ‘Yo mamma so fat’ jokes were passé?
Here’s some information from a news report issued by IANS:
Addressing a press conference in Chittorgarh, Govind Singh Khangarot, the district president of Karni Sena, said the film would be directed by Arvind Vyas and its script writing process had already started.
In the next 15 days, a ‘muhurat’ marking the commencement of the film would be performed and it would be released in a year’s time. The movie will be shot across Rajasthan, Khangarot said.
“Bhansali has insulted our mother Padmavati, but we will ensure that he feels proud of the movie we will make,” he added (presumably in a loud, thundering tone).
“As our country gives right to expression to everyone, we will ensure that this right is used to its fullest,” he said.
Take that, Bhansali!
But in the true spirit of tit-for-tat, we wonder if the Karni Sena will allow Bhansali to respond to their film in exactly the same way that they reacted to his.
Here’s a small list of the courtesies they could extend Bhansali, to ensure the situation truly mirrors the one they created when Padmaavat was being made:
1. Let Bhansali protest the historical inaccuracies of Leela Ki Leela, beginning with the shoot in Rajasthan. Bhansali, as is a matter of public record, grew up in a congested Mumbai chawl in Bhuleshwar. The chawls are an important part of Mumbai’s landscape and are closely linked to this city’s history. By shooting in Rajasthan, presumably on a constructed set, the Karni Sena is doing a disservice to the authentic portrayal of a Mumbai chawl. Mumbaikars must be allowed to protest this show of stark disrespect on the part of the Karni Sena.
2. The Karni Sena must allow Bhansali — once again, in the spirit of true reciprocity — to visit their sets in Rajasthan, a minimum of two times. On one of these occasions, he must be allowed to slap the director. On the other occasion, his henchmen must be allowed to burn down the sets for Leela Ki Leela.
3. The Karni Sena must promise to raise a sum of Rs 150 crores to make this film on Bhansali’s life. It seems only fair since he and his investors expended as much money in making a film about the Karni Sena’s ‘mother’.
4. The Karni Sena must promise that they will maintain the highest production values for Leela Ki Leela. Anything less than eye-wateringly-opulent will simply not make the cut.
5. They must get one of India’s best actresses to play the title role of Bhansali’s mom.
6. They must not protest if their entry into Mumbai — the city where Bhansali’s mother raised him — is barred to them perpetuity, seeing as how they tried to do the same with the Chittorgarh Fort.
7. The Karni Sena will hold a special screening for Bhansali before the film’s release and wait for his approval before releasing the film.
8. The Karni Sena will make changes to their film as recommended by a panel of Bollywood enthusiasts appointed by the Central Board of Film Certification. They will at this point also agree to change the film’s title, preferably substituting one vowel for another.
9. The Karni Sena must prepare for the governments of at least four states to ban Leela Ki Leela — of course, the Supreme Court (yes, the same one they acted in contempt of) will possibly salvage their expression of creativity by upholding their right to screen the film.
10. Even after the Supreme Court’s clearance, the Karni Sena must allow for Bhansali and his supporters to: threaten theatre owners and distributors (until they fear showing Leela Ki Leela for the damage to their property that might ensue), riot in as many places as possible and generally create as great a ruckus as they can. They must also anticipate 16,000 women sending a signed petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to perform a mass ghoomar — if Leela Ki Leela is allowed to release.