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Padmavati gets BJP MLA’s goat, lawmaker threatens to set afire theatres in Telangana

Controversy continues to dog Sanjay Leela Bhansali upcoming film Padmavati . A BJP MLA in Telangana has now threatened that the film will not be allowed to be screened in the state.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2017 20:57 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Padmavati,BJP MLA,T Raja Singh
BJP MLA T Raja Singh on Sunday accused Padmavati’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali of distorting history and show ing the Kshatriya community in bad light.(HT Photo)

A rabble rousing BJP MLA from Hyderabad T Raja Singh threatened on Sunday to set ablaze theatres which screen Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati anywhere in Telangana for allegedly degrading Rajput culture and distorting history.

The film is set to be released on December 1.

Singh’s comments at a congregation of Rajasthan Rajput Samaj in Secunderabad were posted on his official Facebook page late Sunday night and went viral within hours, receiving over 29,000 views and nearly 4,000 likes. The MLA himself is a Rajput representing Goshamahal assembly constituency in Hyderabad.

Taking strong exception to Bhansali’s alleged attempt to distort history and show the Kshatriya community in bad light, Singh said there were reports that the film shows Rani Padmavati in love with Muslim invader Allauddin Khiji. “The fact was that Khilji had attacked Chittorgarh, causing mass self-immolation (Jauhar) by more than 16,000 women who lived in the fort at the time,” he said.

He is the second BJP leader to take pot shots at film maker Bhansali after Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday dared the to make films on other religion.

On Friday, another Union minister, Uma Bharti suggested in Jaipur that the makers of the film to engage detractors along with the censor board and historians to end the controversy around its release.

The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing flak from various groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts.

The BJP MLA said the fact that the director had insured the movie for Rs 105 crore had clearly shown that the film was going to hurt the strong Kshatriya community people, who would not tolerate the screening of the movie.

“We demand that the film should not be released without showing in advance to the Rajput community for approval. If there is any attempt to show Padmavati ji in bad light and distort the history, we will not allow the film to be screened in the first place,” he said.

Singh called upon the Rajputs to set fire to theatres which screened the film despite their objections. “I will be in the forefront in the struggle. If any of you are arrested or harassed, I will use all my influence to come to your rescue and get you out of cases,” he said.

He said the Rajput youth across the country should boycott the film, instead of watching it to know how the community was humiliated. “Your curiosity will only fetch the film makers more profits,” Singh said.

Calling the movie another attempt to damage the culture of the country, Raja Singh urged the city’s youth to fight to protect the dignity of the nation, the Hindu religion and the Hindu society.

A serial rabble rouser, Singh is not new to controversies and his comments have often embarrassed the BJP leadership. In April this year, he declared in public that he would behead those who opposed to the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. “If there is anybody who has the guts to say he would stop the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, let him come forward. I challenge that I will behead him,” he said, while participating in Ram Navami Shobha Yatra.

In December 2015, he came in support of lynching of Mohmmad Akhlaq by right wing elements at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. He even warned that there would be similar incident in Telangana, if cows were killed for beef.

In July 2016, Singh also justified thrashing of Dalits by cow vigilante groups at Una in Gujarat. He also condemned the media and political leaders who had criticised the assault on Dalits.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 20:57 IST