The BJP government in Rajasthan has decided to file a review petition in Supreme Court against the apex court’s order allowing release of Sanja Leela Bhansali’s film Padmaavat, state Home Minister Gulab chand Kataria said on Saturday after a meeting with members of Karni Sena, which is opposing the film’s release.
“Sarkar ne ye manas banaya hai ki hum isko appeal mein jayenge (The government has decided to appeal). We have done our preparations. We may move the appeal on Monday or Tuesday,” Kataria said.
In Indore, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said his government will approach the Supreme Court to stop the release of Padmaavat, PTI reported. Without elaborating, Chouhan told the media after a programme, “We will again knock on the apex court’s doors.”
On Thursday, the Supreme Court had cleared the decks for Padmaavat — scheduled for nationwide release on January 25 — by staying notifications of Rajasthan and Gujarat governments, which had prohibited screening of the film following protests by the Rajput community. The court had also restrained other state governments from issuing similar orders.
Kataria said the basis of the state’s appeal will be protection of the rich history of Rajasthan, along with law and order considerations. He said, “Iss aitihasik prashtbhumi mein bhi, jiske kaaran se Rajasthan ko ye gaurav aur samman mila hua hai, Padmavati ke jauhar ke karan se, jo aitihasik ghatnaye hai, barso purani ghatnaye hai, uske samman ki raksha ho… Ye bhi sarkar ka ek tarah se sochna hai ki uske samman ko banaaye rakhne ke liye bhi Rajasthan aur Rajasthan ki janta jis mansikta mein hai aur jis tarah se hum hai, hum bhi us mansikta ke aadhar par iss baat ki koshish mein hai ki isme kisi prakar ka aisa koi drishya na aye jo ise kisi prakar se damage kare (In this historical backdrop, for which Rajasthan has received glory and honour, because of the jauhar of Padmavati, which are historical events, age-old events…that honour should be protected.
This is the government’s view that to have this honour intact — which is in the mind of Rajasthan’s people and the way we are — we are also trying to see that no such scenes are shown which damages this honour.”
Kataria said the government reached the decision after consulting advocates in Delhi in the presence of senior government officials. He also urged Shree Rajput Karni Sena, the Rajput community and the erstwhile Udaipur royal family to be party to the petition to “strengthen the case”.
Before his meeting with Kataria today, Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi told the media that he has called for a “janata curfew” and appealed people to boycott the film. Stating that he is confident that the film will not be released this Friday, Kalvi said, “Distributors in Rajasthan have supported us by assuring that they will not distribute Padmaavat.”
Kalvi also claimed to have received a letter from Bhansali Productions Pvt Ltd, which is making the film, inviting Karni Sena leaders to watch Padmaavat. “As a reply to Bhansali, I am going to burn this letter,” he added.
The letter, dated January 20 and signed by associate producer Chetan Deolekar for Bhansali Productions, states, “We have reached out to you to set aside your misguided grievances and watch the film PADMAAVAT. The film showcases the honour and valour of the Rajput Community and Rani Padmavati is portrayed with utmost dignity and respect.”