“Moving Pad Man for Padmaavat was the least we could do for them” – Balki

Akshay Kumar won many hearts within the film industry when at a joint press conference with Padmaavat filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Friday afternoon, the Pad Man star declared he would not release Pad Man alongside Padmaavat on January 25.

“It was a decision taken almost instantaneously by all of us in the Pad Man team when Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom 18, the producers of Padmaavat approached us with the request that we move. It didn’t take us a minute to agree to their request. It’s the least we could do for a project that has gone through so much. Padmaavat needs the Republic Day slot more than us. We don’t mind moving ahead by two weeks because we know whenever we come we have a winning project on hand,” says the Pad Man director R Balki, showing a deep solidarity with Bhansali and Padmaavat.

Reasons Balki, “Sanjay Bhansali looked so shaken and troubled. My heart reached out to him. Isn’t it about time we in the film industry stopped projecting an impression of a house divided? At the end of the day all of us filmmakers belong to same fraternity. Of course we have to be selfish about our own film. But not at the expense of someone else’s film. We can’t say, ‘Usski film gayi bhaad mein (to hell with their film)”. Because if someone else’s film gets into trouble we must remind ourselves that the trouble could befall our film also.”

Balki is confident about his film’s release date February 9. “Pad Man is meant to start a debate on menstrual hygiene. Akshay Kumar’s last release Toilet – Ek Prem Katha had carried forward an important debate on toilet amenities. But on our case, the debate on menstrual hygiene will be started with Pad Man. No one talks about menstrual matters. We didn’t want that debate to be caught in the crossfire of controversies. We would rather come a little later than clash with a film which desperately needs to be released.”

Ends Balki, “Padmaavat was destined to come solo. I hope it stands tall and I wish it glorious success.”

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