Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore at the musical event ‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil,’ organized by PHDCCI at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi, Oct. 24 evening. (Press Trust of India)

Veteran Bollywood star Sharmila Tagore says the prospects of the film industry are bound to suffer when films such as “Padmavati” face controversies, writes Sharad Agarwal.

Recently, members of Rajput Karni Sena, an organisation representing Rajputs, burnt posters of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus.

Tagore, 72, was honored with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in New Delhi, for her contribution in the field of cinema.

When asked if such rows help films garner pre-release publicity, the veteran actor said it is often the opposite.

“I doubt it. Sometimes it does help, but most of the time it doesn’t. Whatever is happening in the case of “Padmavati,’ I don’t think it is going to help the film. When you hassle Sanjay Leela Bhansali and vandalize the film’s sets, the cost of the movie goes up. Even that ‘rangoli’ was destroyed, how can all this help?”

Deepika Padukone attends the award ceremony of the ‘Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival’ in Mumbai, Oct. 18. (Sujit Jaiswal/AFP/Getty Images)

“So, if the film gets delayed, the first three days of the business gets affected. It affects the economics of the film. The first weekend is very important for the film,” Tagore told PTI in an interview.

The veteran actor said the debate has instilled fear in the minds of the people who already feel scared to go to the cinema halls.

“Audience is already feeling scared. Most of them feel ‘let the first two days go by peacefully, then we’ll go.’ They (the group) are already issuing threats that they’ll burn the theatres if the makers don’t take their permission. All this causes serious harm to the film fraternity as well,” she said.

“Padmavati,” starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor, is slated to release Dec. 1. The film’s first song, “Ghoomar,” released Oct. 25.