Breaking her silence on the Padmavati row, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has written a letter to Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani, urging that the movie not be released without “necessary changes”. She said a committee with “famous historians, film personalities and members of the aggrieved community” should be constituted to discuss the movie’s story in detail.
In a statement released on Saturday, Raje’s office said that she wrote a letter to Irani “urging her that the movie should not be released till necessary changes are made so that sentiments of any community are not hurt”. The movie is scheduled for release on December 1.
Raje also asked the Censor board to think of all the outcomes before certifying the movie, and said that once a committee such as the one she suggested had discussed the film in detail, “appropriate changes” could be made. In Indore, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot asked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to cut “objectionable” scenes in Padmavati. “Anger is palpable in the country over this movie. History is distorted to enact filmy scenes, which should be taken seriously by the Censor board,” PTI quoted him as saying.
In her letter to Irani, Raje said that while filmmakers had the right to make movies as per their understanding, “the Constitution also provides that fundamental rights be controlled, on the basis of reason, in case of law and order (situation), morality, and when sentiments of citizens are hurt”. Hence, there should be a “rethink” on the movie’s release, she said.
As news broke of the letter written by Raje to Irani, a “Mewar delegation” met the CM and expressed their “gratitude”. It included Cabinet minister Shrichand Kriplani, BJP MLA from Chittorgarh Chandrabhan Singh, Mewar Kshatriya Mahasabha president Balu Singh, Jauhar Smriti Sansthan’s general secretary Bhanwar Singh, and its treasurer Narpat Singh, among others.
Two days ago, the Uttar Pradesh government had asked the I&B Ministry to get the release deferred in the state because “public anger” over the “script” and “distorted historical facts” in it could lead to an “adverse effect” on the law-and-order situation.
Meanwhile, protests over the film, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, continued in Rajasthan, with a group temporarily blocking entry to the Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajsamand district demanding a ban, a day after a similar, day-long protest at Chittorgarh Fort. Both forts are UNSESCO World Heritage sites.
In Kota, the protest was led by Congress workers, who also “hanged” an effigy of Bhansali at a square in the city. They termed the CBFC’s decision to return the film without certification a “political stunt” to cool tempers before the Assembly elections in Gujarat.