Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi has rejected one of its advisory panel members’ statement against Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali that said the filmmaker should be tried for treason. Arjun Gupta, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, yesterday came out strongly against Bhansali and said that an action should be taken for him to stop making ‘such movies’.
In response, Joshi on Friday said it was unfortunate to see a personal point of view expressed by an advisory panel member of the CBFC.
“It’s unfortunate to see the personal point of view expressed by an advisory panel member of the CBFC against Mr Sanjay Leela Bhansali. By no means does it represent the point of view of CBFC as an organisation or the CBFC board. We have respect for Mr Bhansali as an individual and artist,” Joshi told ANI.
Gupta also said he had written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to consider the matter. “I have written a letter to the Home Minister that Sanjay Leela Bhansali be tried for treason and a strict action be taken against him. If this is not done, he will continue making such films,” he had told ANI.
Gupta’s statement came after Bhansali released a video, saying that there was no romantic scene between Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji in his film.
In the video, the director said, “This movie is embroiled in so many controversies because of some rumour. The rumour is that in the movie, a dream scene has been filmed between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji. I have already rejected this claim and also given written proof of this. Today, again, I am reiterating through this video that in our movie; there is no such scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji that would hurt anyone’s sentiments.”
It should be noted that Bhansali is yet to submit the film for certification to the censor board, according to sources. Padmavati is based on the legend of Rani Padmini, a Hindu Rajput queen, mentioned in Padmavat, an Avadhi language epic poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540.
The film stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maha Rawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji. The movie, slated to release on December 1, ran into controversy over its plot, with some right-wing outfits calling it an absolutely wrong portrayal of the Rajput queen.