The U.S. isn't the only country whose film industry is proving dangerous for women. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone is facing threats of beheading — yes, an actual beheading — prior to the release of her controversial new film, Padmavati. Filmmakers have delayed the movie's release in light of protests and threats from Hindu groups.
Padukone is known in the U.S. for her role opposite Vin Diesel in the third xXx thriller.
On Thursday, Suraj Pal Amu offered a $1.5 million bounty for the heads of Padukone and the film's director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Amu is a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Haryana. The BJP is India's Hindu nationalist ruling party. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP runs the central government.
The prime minister has reportedly condemned Amu's actions and asked him to apologize.
At the heart of the controversy are claims that the movie, loosely based on a 400-year-old poem, portrays a love affair between a Hindu queen, played by Padukone, and a Muslim king, a plot point the film's director has denied. Still, two Indian states have banned the film, and protests have grown increasingly violent.
As news of Amu's threats became public, people began speaking out on social media.
Many people expressed shock that Amu hasn't faced consequences for his threats:
While others were simply shocked:
As protests against the film escalated, a young man was killed:
People tweeted the actress directly with words of support:
Padukone has cancelled an appearance at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad at the end of November and has beefed up her personal security. Unfortunately, extremism is alive and well in many parts of the world.
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