BJP MLA and former Jaipur royal family member Diya Kumari, on Wednesday, said that the film Padmavati’s release would “not be allowed” if it took “liberties” with history. Kumari urged Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to get his facts verified by a forum of historians, so that the film does not hurt the sentiments of any community. Meanwhile, right-wing group Bajrang Dal, on Friday, held a demonstration against the release of the upcoming film, and demanded a ban on it. Its members had gathered outside the collectorate in Jaipur and handed over representations addressed to the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to an administration official demanding a ban on the movie.
Dal, along with Shri Rajput Karni Sena, has been opposing the film fearing that it would depict a romantic relationship between Rani Padmavati and Alaudin Khilji, played by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, respectively. Responding to the protest, the state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said that the arts and culture department of Rajasthan will look into the objections and send a report to the home department in next few days.But on Wednesday, Bhansali had rubbished the reports about the romantic dream sequence between the two protagonists, in a video released online.
“There is no interaction whatsoever between the characters played by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh,” Bhansali said, “Padmavati has been made with a lot of responsibility and hard work. I have always been inspired by her story and this film is just a tribute to her honour and courage. But because of some rumours, the film is being dragged into a controversy… We have kept the honour of Rajputs intact.” The film is slated to be released on December 1.
Notice to Nawaz
Television and theatre personality Sunita Rajwar (pictured) has sent a legal notice to actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui demanding Rs 2 crore in damages and a “specific and unconditional apology…stating that the events/facts portrayed as regards to the alleged relationship…are false”.
Siddiqui had written in his memoir, An Ordinary Life, that he had an affair with Rajwar and she left him because he was poor and now that he is famous and successful “tells everybody that she was once together in a serious relationship with me”. In a previous social media post, Rajwar had denied that the relationship had been serious or that she talks about it now.
The legal notice, sent on November 4, also iterates that “the said damages are not being claimed for personal gain… towards a charitable cause, more particularly for the cause of fighting against sexual exploitation of women working in the entertainment and media industry, and charities such as Snehalaya Foundation, Smile Foundation and CRY Foundation.”
The notice, also sent to Rituparna Chatterjee, who has written the book with Siddiqui, and publisher Penguin Random House India, among others, stresses that Rajwar, who graduated from the National School of Drama in 1997 is “happily married” and belongs to a “conservative household”. “In my first interview only, I had made it clear that I will take legal action. He has to take name and apologise as he has defamed by taking name in his book, not in general as he has tweeted,” says Rajwar.
Over phone from Mumbai, she adds that she has two families now, her parents’ and her in-laws’, and Siddiqui’s exaggerations of the affair had “disturbed my personal life”. “Professionally, I cannot say because we are artistes and it is not possible to measure things that way,” she adds. Siddiqui had announced on social media that he would withdraw the book but Rajwar says that it is still available online.