MP minister says Padmaavat’s Ghoomar song should be banned, draws sharp criticism on Twitter

Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh said the song Ghoomar should not be played as the release of the film Padmaavat was banned in the state.

bhopal Updated: Jan 18, 2018 12:49 IST
Ranjan
Ranjan
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Padmaavat,Padmavati,Ghoomar
The minister’s response came on a question on vandalism by Rajput Karni Sena members on the campus of a Ratlam school where students were performing to the song Ghoomar.(Handout)

Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh’s remark that a song from Padmaavat should not be played as the controversial film has been banned in the state has elicited strong criticism from the opposition Congress as well as on Twitter.

Singh’s comment came on Wednesday when he was asked by reporters about the vandalism by Rajput Karni Sena, a fringe right-wing group opposing the Bollywood movie, on the campus of a private school in Ratlam district on Monday when students were performing to the Ghoomar song.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down a ban imposed on the release of the film by four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana.

The home minister questioned the decision of the school in allowing the song to be played. But, when his attention was brought to the fact that there was no ban on song, Singh parried the question.

He, however, said no one was allowed to take the law into their hands on the issue of the vandalism.

The Karni Sena and other Rajput groups allege that the movie distorts history and the Ghoomar track portrays queen Padmini or Padmavati as a courtesan, saying royal women never performed the traditional folk dance of Rajasthan.

State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said the minister’s statement reflected his incompetence as he was unable to maintain law and order in Madhya Pradesh.

“The minister’s statement also reflects a dual policy of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). The censor board governed by the BJP-led central government has approved the film but the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh talked of banning it. Its home minister went one step ahead by talking of banning the songs in the film,” Chaturvedi said.

The spokesperson of the BJP’s state unit Rajneesh Agrawal refused to comment of the issue as he was not aware of what the home minister had exactly said and what was the context in which he made his remarks.

Users on Twitter also questioned Singh’s stance on the song.

“How it’s possible for a state government to ban a song from a film that the country’s censor board has approved,” asked a Twitter user after the home minister’s reported remarks.

“Did he say a banned song? Such a thing existed in India? Used to feel proud about our country when Taliban, Saudi etc banned songs etc,” another user Gaurav Siharia wrote on Twitter.

The film based on Mohammad Jayasi’s poem Padmavat stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles. Protests raged across India against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film for allegedly distorting history, a charge the filmmakers have vehemently denied.

The movie has been facing violent protests by the fringe group, Shri Rajput Karni Sena who blame the director and lead actors of insulting Rajputs and the community’s honour.

Protesters issued death threats against Bhansali and Deepika over allegations that the queen romances Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji in the movie.

The film’s name was changed to Padmaavat as suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The board recently cleared the film for release with U/A certificate and a set of five modifications.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 12:49 IST