JEDDAH: Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone took a break from the “Padmavati” controversy at home on Friday to fly to the UAE to attend an awards ceremony.
Padukone received the Global Icon of India at the Asiavision Movie Awards 2017 held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“Thank you for this award, especially because this is one of the awards that honor South Indian talents. I can proudly say that I am a South Indian from Mangalore who studied in Bangalore (Bengaluru),” Padukone said in her acceptance speech, not mentioning her upcoming film.
The Asiavision Movie Awards have been held annually since 2006 to honor the artists and technicians of South Indian cinema.
“Padmavati” has been in the midst of a controversy since January, with Rajput groups and others accusing director Sanjay Leela Bhansali of distorting history.
A member of India’s Hindu nationalist ruling party offered 100 million rupees ($1.5 million) to anyone who beheads the lead actress and the director of the unreleased Bollywood film rumored to depict a relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler.
Earlier this month, the head of the Rajput Karni Sena in Rajasthan said Padukone should have her nose cut — a symbol of public humiliation — for being part of a film that allegedly insulted the famed queen.
“Padmavati” is based on a 16th century Sufi epic poem, “Padmavat,” in which a brave and beautiful Rajput queen chose to kill herself rather than be captured by the Muslim sultan of Delhi, Allaudin Khilji. Over centuries of its retelling, the epic has come to be seen as history, despite little evidence.
Padukone plays Padmini, the legendary queen who committed “jauhar,” the medieval Rajput practice in which female royals walked into funeral fires to embrace death over the dishonor of being taken captive.