Madhur Bhandarkar and Shabana Azmi
Madhur Bhandarkar and Shabana AzmiTwitter

National Award winner Madhur Bhandarkar has recently called out veteran actor Shabana Azmi for being selective when she extended support to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati as the movie got caught in controversy.

Madhur Bhandarkar had several contretemps with the Congress leaders who protested against his film Indu Sarkar which is set against the backdrop of the 1975-77 Emergency period. However, the filmmaker, who has always condemned the violent acts against films and filmmakers, felt sad when the film fraternity failed to come out in solidarity with him when his film was mired in controversy.

Recalling his hardships at the time of Indu Sarkar's release, Bhandarkar slammed Shabana Azmi for her biased approach and wrote, "@AzmiShabana ji I am equally concerned about threats to @deepikapadukone and SLB over #Padmavati however I feel sad about your biased approach. I would have appreciated similar support from you when I was being violently threatned by Congress workers over my film #InduSarkar."

For the uninitiated, Shabana Azmi has been exclusively tweeting against the people who are opposing Padmavati.

Many celebrities from the film fraternity — including the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA), Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), Western India Cinematographers Association (WICA), Screenwriters Association (SWA) and Association of Cine and Television Art Directors & Costume Designers — have come out in support of Padmavati.

Madhur Bhandarkar is also one of the celebrities from the Hindi film industry who has extended his support to Padmavati and condemned the act of violence in the theatres.

A similar gathering was witnessed when Abhishek Chaubey's film Udta Punjab, which talked about the drug abuse among youths in Punjab faced opposition with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) last year. The movie was produced under the banners of Balaji Motion Pictures,
Essel Vision Productions and Phantom Films.

Madhur Bhandarkar's tweet sure has a point. He was exposing the underlying hypocrisies in Bollywood.  

Why are Bollywood celebrities so choosy when it comes to extending support to issues? Why don't they come out in open and stand united as one industry when a film faces opposition from a certain section of the society? Why didn't a similar support come for Madhur Bhandarkar's film Indu Sarkar, Swara Bhaskar starrer Anarkali of Aarah and many others? Why such selective activism?

This rekindles the debate that Bollywood might be one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world, but considering the complex relations between Bollywood and mainstream politics makes it an uphill task for the film fraternity to come out in unison against a protest, which is politically charged.