Karni Sena calls for ‘public curfew’ on Padmaavat release
Lokendra Singh Kalvi warned of protests outside theatres screening the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, which the filmmakers say is based on Padmavat, a poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi around 500 years ago about a Rajput queen of Chittor choosing to kill herself rather than be captured by Delhi’s Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji.india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 21:32 IST
The founder-patron of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, called for a “public curfew” if Padmaavat is screened and asked theatre workers on Monday to boycott the Rs 15-crore Bollywood movie that he alleges distorts history.
Kalvi told reporters in Gurgaon that he has accepted an invitation from the filmmakers to watch the movie at a pre-screening event. But he is certain the movie will not be released, though the censor board had cleared the film.
He warned of protests outside theatres screening the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, which the filmmakers say is based on Padmavat, a poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi around 500 years ago about a Rajput queen of Chittor choosing to kill herself rather than be captured by Delhi’s Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji.
Kalvi’s statement follows the Supreme Court accepting pleas of the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments that the movie’s screening be stopped to maintain law and order. The film is scheduled to open on Tuesday.
He said the top court’s decision will be closely examined, but that would not dilute his group’s demand for a nationwide ban on the movie.
Kalvi made his remarks a day after 15 people, who claimed to be members of the Karni Sena, were arrested on charges of vandalising the DND toll plaza along the Delhi-Noida border.
Several rallies and protests were organised by the group in Gurgaon. Effigies of the movie’s producer-director Bhansali were burned and traffic blocked.
Kalvi cited an email purportedly sent by Chetan Deolekar, associate producer with Bhansali Productions Pvt. Ltd, to claim that he was invited to the pre-screening. A copy of the email is with Hindustan Times.
“We have an invite and have no hesitation in attending it,” Kalvi said.
The invite clarifies that a scene depicting a romantic relationship between Khilji and Rani Padmavati, which Sena members have been protesting against, was never a part of the movie. The letter also asks for the group’s cooperation to ensure a “peaceful release of the film”.
But Kalvi still stood his ground, saying the film should be banned because it still distorts historical facts.
“I am certain the movie will not be released. If that’s not the case then our group will ensure that a janata curfew will be carried out across the country wherever the movie is being screened,” he said.
He cited movies Jodhaa Akbar and Fanaa, which too faced public ire Rajasthan and Gujarat respectively.
“I do not support violence, but only a janata curfew. However, if there is any violence, that will be Bhansali’s fault because he has created this whole spectacle,” he warned.