Padmavati row: Bihar, UP, Gujarat and other states where Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film faces hurdles
With five states opposing the film’s screening (even if CBFC hands out the censor certificate), here is how various states stand on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati at present.Updated: Nov 29, 2017 12:13 IST
Even as the Supreme Court chided ministers for pre-judging Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati during a hearing on a petition against the release of the Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh-starrer, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday asked the producers to clarify the alleged “distortion of history” in the film and banned it from release in the state.
Hearing a PIL filed by advocate ML Sharma, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra said statements made by persons holding power or high office about the movie is tantamount to “pre-judging” it before it is cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). “When the matter is pending for CBFC’s consideration, how can persons holding public offices comment on whether CBFC should issue (a) certificate or not? It’ll prejudice the decision-making of CBFC,” the bench said while dismissing the PIL.
Meanwhile, the Bihar CM said, “The film would not be released in the state without amicable solution among all parties involved.”
Bhansali’s film has been troubled since he began production in January. It all began when the director was slapped and his sets vandalised in Jaipur by Karni Sena members. The attackers claimed a “romantic scene between Rani Padmini (essayed by Deepika in the film) and Alauddin Khilji (played by Ranveer)” hurt their religious sentiments.
The filmmakers, however, have assured that the film does not show any romantic affair or feature a single scene between Padmini and Khilji.
The Rajput Karni Sena as well as the BJP have criticised the film, accusing Bhansali of distorting history by showing the Muslim aggressor as the Hindu queen’s “lover”. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, all ruled by the BJP, have banned it.
Protests against the film have been staged in various regions, including Hyderabad, Shimla, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Indore, Patna, Lucknow and Pune. Protesters have also threatened to “behead” Bhansali and Padukone.
Based on an epic poem by Mohammad Jayasi, Padmavati was due to open on December 1 but its producers have postponed the release as they await CBFC certification.
With five states opposing the film’s release (even if the CBFC certifies it), here is how various states stand on Padmavati at present:
Bihar became the fifth state in the country to ban Padmavati when CM Nitish Kumar announced that the film will be allowed to screen in the state only after the “parties involved” reach an “amicable solution”.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that insult to Padmavati “will not be tolerated” while addressing Rajputs at a meet. Banning the film, he said even if the movie is passed by the CBFC for release in the country, it won’t make it to the screens in the state.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, in a letter to Union information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, had sought “necessary changes” in the movie before its release, so that the “sentiments of any community are not hurt”. The state home minister said the state is considering a ban on the movie.
While holding Bhansali as guilty as the protesters for the Padmavati row, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said, “Nobody has the right to take the law into their hands. Be it Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anybody else. I feel that if those issuing threats are guilty, then Bhansali is no less guilty...who has got used to hurting public sentiments.”
Haryana health minister Anil Vij and industries and commerce and environment minister Vipul Goel wrote to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), seeking an immediate ban on the release and screening of the film.
“Nobody is allowed to distort history and wrongly present facts. This will not be tolerated. The movie has tried to tarnish the image of Rani Padmavati, who is a role model for women. How can they glorify a character like Khilji,” Goel said.
Last week, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani banned Padmavati from release in the state and said, “There are issues with the film, our sympathy is with those who are protesting against it.”
After ruling out banning of Padmavati without watching it, Punjab Chief minister Amarinder Singh decided to go with the protesters against the film. “Nobody will accept distortion of history and those who are protesting are rightly doing so,” he said.
“Nobody can be denied the right to disagree with others and protest peacefully in a civilised and democratic system, but nobody (neither an individual nor an organisation) has the right to threatens (sic) someone with whom he/she does not agree on any issue,” he had earlier said.
Promising a smooth release to Deepika Padukone-starrer, the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her displeasure over the controversy around Padmavati. “The #Padmavati controversy is not only unfortunate but also a calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves. We condemn this super emergency. All in the film industry must come together and protest in one voice,” she tweeted.
The #Padmavati controversy is not only unfortunate but also a calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves. We condemn this super emergency. All in the film industry must come together and protest in one voice— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 20, 2017
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First Published: Nov 29, 2017 12:11 IST