The Rajput Mahasabha in Punjab on Wednesday withdrew its opposition to Padmaavat after leaders from the community watched the movie at a special screening in Pathankot, which has a sizeable Rajput population. The screening was arranged by the district administration from 6 to 9 pm Wednesday at a local multiplex. Rajput Mahasabha, which is active in the district, had so far been opposing the movie’s release.
After watching the movie, Rajput Mahasbha Punjab president Davinder Darshi said, “We had opposed this movie earlier, due to which movie makers had to make 300 cuts. We have watched the movie today and found now it has nothing objectionable against the Rajput community. So now we are satisfied and we have no problem with the movie’s release. Around 30 leaders from our community watched the movie on the request of the administration and we have no objection to the movie now.”
According to Darshi, “Most of the Sikh and Hindu Rajput population in Punjab is concentrated in Pathankot, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts”. “We are present in other districts too. Rajput Mahasbha, Punjab has its office bearers in all the districts of Punjab,” he said. Some local Congress leaders from the Rajput community also played role in bringing the Mahasabha to the screening.
Yogender Thakur Parshad, a local Congress party councillor from Pathankot, said, “Administration has won the trust of the community by showing the movie in advance. Now all the misconceptions about movie have come to an end. We will suggest that community members all over the country must watch the movie because it is in fact showing the Rajput community in a good light. There has been no tempering with history and Rani Padmavati’s character is shown in good light. Everybody should watch this movie.” While heavy security has been deployed outside movie theatres in Pathankot, SSP Pathankot Vishal Soni said there was no tension in the city.
“Movie will be shown in four theatres in Pathankot and I can assure you that there will be no trouble. No one has opposed the movie and we are not expecting any trouble. In fact, community leaders have appreciated the movie after watching it,” said Soni.
Amritsar police administration too assured people that they can watch Padmaavat without any fear. “There has been no such issue in Amritsar. We have not deployed any extra force, but our SHOs have been asked to keep vigil at the movie theatres,” said DCP Amrik Singh.