Protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming movie Padmavati have intensified in Rajasthan with several organisations stating their objection to the movie over Rani Padmini’s portrayal, while distributors have also decided to wash their hands off it. “We don’t want to get involved in this controversy; our company has decided to not get involved in this film until this controversy is sorted out,” said Raj Bansal, a leading film distributor from Rajasthan. “None of my colleagues – there are 3 – 4 (top) distributors in Rajasthan – and none of them is ready for it. There may still be time to settle the controversy but it keeps on increasing now, to Gujarat, Maharashtra…” he said.
BJP MLA Diya Kumari, of the erstwhile Royal family of Jaipur, issued a statement Tuesday saying that “no film should hurt the sentiments of a community by twisting historical facts. The director of the film Padmavati, Sanjay Leela Bhansali should not wrongly depict the story of Queen Padmavati of Chittor. He should get the facts in the film verified by a forum of historians and then release the film.”
She said, “Rajputs will not allow any distortion of the valiant history of Rajasthan and sacrifice of its people in fighting barbarians. If the movie does not display authentic history or takes any liberties, it will not be allowed to be released.”
Top Rajput body, the Shri Rajput Sabha, also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday and gave an ultimatum of November 12 for a countrywide ban of Padmavati and an FIR against “habitual offender” Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It said that “this type of distortion of history in films like Padmavati will ruin the history and damage the highest values for which our ancestors lived and died.”
“If people see Padmini dancing like stage actor, who will cherish the historical saga of Jauhar, rarest of rare incident of history.there is the glorification of the most barabaric, most devil, most vulgar attacker Alauddin Khilji. As you know, about 16,000 great Rajputanis of Rajasthan dedicated their lives and became martyrs for maintenance of nation’s prestige, religion, culture and Bharat Mata.Why we allow such glorification of our all-time worst enemy?” They have also asked the PM to “warn” Smriti Irani as she “has formally supported for release of film,” so that she may “be a bit careful in such important matters and withdraw her remarks.”
On Sunday, Congress spokesperson and Jaipur Congress president Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had said, “If the movie distorts history, then it is the responsibility of the Central and state government to ban it. The government is mistaken if it believes that it can screen the movie with distorted history,” he said, warning of a law and order situation if the government proceeds with the movie in its current form.
A day before him, Union minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti, had written an open letter stating, “If you are making a historical film, you cannot violate the facts.” She said that even to this day, “we have respect for Padmavati and hatred for Khilji.” She had said that people should find a way to address the apprehensions being raised on the film.
Several other organisations, such as Rajput Karni Sena, Shri Rajput Karni Sena, Antarrashtriya Brahman Mahasangh, and others have protested over the movie. The Bajrang Dal also said that it would protest the release of the movie in Rajasthan on November 10. Johar Smriti Sansthan had also called a bandh in Chittorgarh last week against the movie, which is scheduled to release on December 1.
With PTI inputs