Unable to ban the release of Padmaavat in Gujarat and Rajasthan where fearful multiplex owners are not screening the film, authorities in at least three districts of the two states have instructed schools not to play the Ghoomar song from the film during Republic Day celebrations.
In their circulars, district primary education officers of Mahisagar and Bhavnagar have underlined the “social and cultural controversy surrounding the film Padmaavat in the state” while the Udaipur additional district magistrate, in his order, refers to a memorandum from the Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena (Mewar) which has warned of an “apriya ghatna” (undesirable incident) if the Ghoomar song is played or included in a dance.
“This is to inform you that in the present time, there is a social and cultural controversy surrounding the film Padmaavat in the state. Therefore, in case of any cultural programme or celebrations organised in your school, please make sure that songs of this film are not played. If the songs of this film have been included in any upcoming cultural events, you are hereby directed to suspend such performances. Please make sure that no untoward incident should take place (in the school) due to the use of songs from this film,” stated a circular issued by the Mahisagar district primary education officer.
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The Bhavnagar district primary education officer has issued a similar circular to schools.
Mahisagar district collector M D Modiya said, “I am not aware about the circular. As far as I know, the state government has not given any such order to prohibit songs from the film at any event and such circulars cannot be issued.”
Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said no such order has been issued by the government:”No such directions or orders have been issued by the government to ban songs of Padmaavat in schools or colleges or any other event outside institutions. If officials have issued such orders, keeping in mind peace and safety of all, it is their own decision, using their own intelligence and discretion.”
In Rajasthan, Udaipur additional district magistrate Subhash Chand Sharma, in his order, stated that a memorandum had been received from Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena (Mewar).
“The memorandum, a copy of which is attached, has requested that ‘Padmavati’ song Ghoomar should not be played, or danced on, in any of the government and non-governmental schools, colleges and other institutions of Udaipur district on January 26,” the order stated — ‘Padmavati’ was renamed ‘Padmaavat’ following protests.
“They have also informed that there might be an apriya ghatna (undesirable incident) if the said Ghoomar song is played or if there is a dance on it,” stated the order, instructing primary and secondary district education officers of Udaipur to ensure that the song is not played.