Despite SC lifting ban, uncertainty looms on ‘Padmaavat’ release

Despite the Censor Board clearance for ‘Padmaavat’ and Supreme Court striking down the ban by some state governments, uncertainty looms large on its release with the Rajput Karni Sena threatening to disrupt theatres screening the film.

Despite assurances by the makers of the film that ‘Padmaavat’ will maintain the honour and dignity of Queen Padmavati, the Karni Sena remains firm on stalling its release.

In fact, Karni Sena’s patron and founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the film. Kalvi has appealed to the Prime Minister to ban the film under “Section 6 of the Cinematograph Act”. Karni Sena’s insistence on banning the film comes despite assurances by ‘Padmaavat’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and its producers Viacom 18 that the film was not intended to hurt sentiments of the Rajput community and that it would maintain the honour and dignity of Queen Padmavati.

In fact, Bhansali has sent an invitation to Rajput Karni Sena and other Rajput associations to watch “Padmaavat”. In a letter addressed to the Karni Sena, Bhansali has said, ‘the film will maintain the honour and dignity of Queen Padmavati… The dream sequence being talked about in the film is just a rumour and we have already apprised you about the same in the letter sent on January 29, 2017. There is no such scene… We assure that the entire Rajput community will feel proud after watching the film.”

The assurances by Bhansali notwithstanding, the Karni Sena continues with its demand to ban the film across the country and has threatened to disrupt screenings of the film across the country. He welcomed the decision of distributors in Rajasthan and Gujarat not to screen the film. “I feel obliged as Rajasthan and Gujarat film distributors have assured us that the film will not be released,” Kalvi said.
The threat by the Karni sena to disrupt screening of the film has led Rajasthan and Gujarat film distributors to take a decision not to release the film in these States on January 25.

It has also led the distributors in Delhi to seek help from Delhi police to deploy police personnel outside the theatres screening the film in Delhi and NCR. The uncertainty over the film’s release in many states across the country also emanates from the fact that governments in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are contemplating approaching the Supreme Court over its order turning down the ban placed on the film by these governments.

The film stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji.
Ever since its inception, the film has been embroiled in controversy with Rajput organisations up in arms against the period drama which they have been charging of distorting history.

Responding to protests, Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, clarified that the film was based on 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem “Padmavat”, and does not distort historical facts — as was being alleged by some Rajput outfits.
The makers of “Padmaavat” secured a U/A certificate from the Censor Board after incorporating five modifications, and locked the release date as January 25.

The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the all-India release for “Padmaavat” on January 25 by staying the operation of orders by the Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana governments banning its release. Padmaavat’, which has been cleared for release by the CBFC with a U/A release certificate post the incorporation of only 5 modifications,will release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on January 25. The film will witness a mega-scale release across maximum screens, languages and formats covering 2D, 3D & Imax 3D in India and the world.


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