Joining the chorus against ‘Padmavati’, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said today that the film would not be allowed to be screened in the state if it contains scenes “breaching the honour” of the Rajput queen or portrays “distorted facts”. The chief minister also said that a memorial of the queen Padmavati would be constructed at a site here, where a memorial for the country’s brave soldiers has been proposed.
Earlier, the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, both BJP-ruled states, had also raised a concern over the proposed release of the period drama in which actor Deepika Padukone plays the legendary Rajput queen. Addressing members of the Rajput community at his residence here, Chouhan said twisting of historical facts will not be tolerated.
“We will not tolerate any distortion of historical facts. The entire country is speaking in one voice that historical facts were distorted (in the movie),” he said. If there are scenes breaching the honour of queen Padmavati, then the movie will not be allowed to be exhibited in Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan said
He said that queen Padmavati was a “true reflection of the Indian woman”. “We have been studying about the rare sacrifice and dedication of queen Padmavati since our childhood,” he said referring to the legend that the queen had committed “jauhar” (self immolation) before Chittor could be captured by Alauddin Khalji in 13th-14th century.
He said a memorial of the queen would be built at a site in the state capital, where a memorial for the country’s brave soldiers has been proposed. Earlier, delegations of the Rajput community arrived from different parts of Madhya Pradesh and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister demanding a ban on the release of ‘Padmavati’.
Last night, activists of the Karni Sena, which is at the forefront of the protests against the film, created a ruckus outside a cinema hall in Anjad town in Barwani district of the state after a trailer of the film was allegedly shown during a movie. Dharmendra Jain, the owner of Virendra Talkies where the incident occurred, said the trailer of the film will not be shown again.
The film has been facing controversy since director Sanjay Leela Bhansali started its shooting earlier this year. The director was roughed up by members of the fringe group Rajput Karni Sena in Jaipur. Its elaborate sets were also vandalised during shooting schedules in Jaipur and Kolhapur.
The first poster of the movie was released in October this year and triggered a storm with various Rajput groups and others alleging that the director had “distorted” historical facts. A number of organisations, especially Karni Sena, have been opposing the release of the history drama claiming that it has portrayed the Rajput queen in bad light.
The Rajasthan-based members of the Sena had even threatened to chop off the nose of actor Deepika Padukone if she doesn’t desist from making “provocative” statements. The fringe outfit had also threatened violence if the movie was released.
The makers of “Padmavati” yesterday said the proposed December 1 release of the film, featuring Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, besides Padukone, has been deferred. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje recently wrote to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, urging her to ensure that “Padmavati” is not released without necessary changes. The Uttar Pradesh government had also asked the I&B ministry to defer the release of the movie, saying there was “public anger” about the “distorted historical facts”.