JAIPUR: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film Padmavati — retitled Padmavat — will not be released in Rajasthan, said chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday.
Amidst reports that the movie is set for a January 25 release, Raje said in a statement released by her office that respecting the sentiments of the people of the state, the movie will not be screened in any cinema hall in Rajasthan.
“Raje has said that Rani Padmini’s sacrifice is a matter of honour and pride for the state and hence Rani Padmini is not just a chapter in history but our dignity. We will not allow defamation of her honour,” read the statement. It also said that necessary directives have been issued to ensure the same.
The move to ban the movie in Rajasthan comes at a time when the Rajput outfits have announced to protest the release of the controversial film at “any cost”.
Several Rajput organizations on Monday came together to protest the release and even threatened to gather at the cinema halls with batons and petrol to protest.
Karni senas plan petrol, baton stir
Addressing the media, Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, national president of Shree Rastriya Rajput Karni Sena said, “Let me make it loud and clear that India will burn if Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), producers or cinema hall owners release the film on January 25. We will not tolerate this attempt of defaming our mother Rani Padmavati.”
Making a mockery of the disclaimer used by producers of the film about all characters and events are fictitious and any resemblance to any living person or character is purely coincidental, Gogamedi threatened, “We will go to the cinema halls wherever the film is screened with lathis and petrol, term them phool (flower) and Gangajal and offer them at cinema halls. Having set the cinema halls on fire, we will show them placards with disclaimers saying no one should get offended as we have just offered phool and Gangajal.”
“Three members of the special committee, who were shown the film, clearly said after watching the movie that it should not be released as it will create differences between Brahmins and Rajputs and also is against Muslims and Rajputs. If their recommendations were not to be regarded, why did Prasoon Joshi invite them. We urge PM Narendra Modi to collect the resignation of his ministers — Smriti Irani and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore — and also suspend Prasoon Joshi with immediate effect,” he added.
President of Shree Rajput Karni Sena Mahipal Singh Makrana, who had earlier threatened to chop off Deepika Padukone’s nose, said, “We have been writing to everyone since Sanjay Leela Bhansali started shooting for the film. Now, we are not going to tolerate defamation of a historical character, who is revered by the Rajputs. BJP will face dire consequences if the movie is released anywhere in the country.”
Giriraj Singh Lothwara, president of Shree Rajput Sabha, said, “CBFC has outrightly rejected the recommendations of screening committee members.”
Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot said: “If CM Vasundhara Raje was genuinely sincere about not hurting sentiments of the community, she should have intervened a year ago when the Rajput community first raised objections against the film, when it was being made. Raje should have facilitated to ensure that a middle ground was found between those objecting to certain depictions and those producing the film. If she had intervened then, the matter would not have come to such a pass. Now that Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have already taken a lead in banning the movie, she has been forced to follow suit. Hers is an effort to save face before the Rajput community.”