Bollywood's Deepika Padukone Cancels Appearance With Ivanka Trump In India As Hindu Nationalists Put $1.5 Million Bounty On Her Head

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Bollywood's Deepika Padukone Cancels Appearance With Ivanka Trump In India As Hindu Nationalists Put $1.5 Million Bounty On Her Head

In India, the highly-anticipated release of the movie 'Padmavati' has been delayed after a politician from India's governing party has offered a bounty of $1.5 million for the heads of Deepika Padukone, Bollywood's highest-earning actress, who plays the 14th century Hindu queen -- and also the movie's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Padmavati is a fictional queen in the epic poem 'Padmavat' by 16th-century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. The poem was written more than 200 years after the actual invasion and was absolutely impacted by folklore. 

The poem elevated the virtue of Padmavati, who committed sati, in which a widow immolates herself on her husband's funeral pyre in order to protect her honor. Initially sati was practiced after Hindu men were defeated in battle and to avoid being taken by Muslim men. Like so many customs, the act of sati -- or committing suicide by fire with the death of the husband -- came to be seen as an act of devotion. The custom was outlawed by India's British rulers in 1829 following demands by Indian reformers.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has courted Hindu nationalists as part of his political base -- as has Donald Trump. In the US presidential election, Hindu nationalists were burning images of Hillary Clinton in the streets. 

'Neerja' Actor Sonam Kapoor Talks Feminism With BuzzFeed India

I know from my own experiences on Twitter that when you so much as mention women’s rights and empowerment, hordes of strangers come out of the woodwork to invalidate you with slews of irrelevant questions built upon such false notions: If you’re so feminist, why are you wearing lipstick? If you’re so feminist, why do you wax your legs? If you’re so feminist, why do you like pink? Why do you like men? Why do you wear heels? Why do you watch rom-coms? Why do you bake? Why do you give blowjobs? Why do you read Vogue?

And, unlike Parineeti Chopra, I don’t even have 6 and a half million followers.

They’re all asking: If you’re so feminist, how come you’re doing all that girly shit, bro?

If you’re so feminist, how come you’re not matching my expectations of what feminism looks like?

It's easy to focus on the challenges ahead for Indian women. It was one of those stories that was destined for this blog post tonight. It gives me great please to share such an empowering woman and new movie playing in the US, because that bad news will keep for another day. ~ Anne