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Padmavati row: Bhansali ‘unable to maintain’ sanctity of history, says UP Speaker

His remarks refer to protests by fringe Rajput groups, who allege Bhansali’s film distorts history.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2017 00:02 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh,UP Speaker,Hriday Narayan Dikshit
Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit said on Monday that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was “unable to maintain” the sanctity of history, in an apparent reference to the controversy surrounding his film ‘Padmavati’.

Speaking at the Lucknow University during a seminar on famed Hindi poet Jai Shankar Prasad, Dixit said Prasad “had portrayed the history of the Vedic era in Kamayani” - which is considered one of the greatest literary works in modern Hindi literature - “and maintained the sanctity of India’s culture.”

“Sanjay Leela Bhansali was unable to do this. He should have maintained the sanctity of India’s culture. He should not have done any ‘ched-chaad’ with the history,” he said, according to a release issued by the Speaker’s office.

His remarks apparently refers to the protests by fringe Rajput groups, who allege Bhansali’s film distorts history.

The epic drama is based on queen Padmini, or Padmavati, who immolates herself to avoid falling prisoner to Sultan Alauddin Khilji.

Historians, however, are divided whether the queen even existed, but irate Rajput groups have called the film an insult to their honour and forced the filmmaker to defer its release to a yet-unannounced date.

The fringe groups are also protesting over a rumoured romantic dream sequence between the characters of Padmavati and Khilji.

Bhansali, in a video appeal earlier this month, stated there was no such sequence in the movie. He said he was careful in depicting the “Rajput honour and dignity”.

The film has been facing protests since Bhansali began its shooting earlier this year. He was roughed up by members of a Rajasthan-based Rajput group in Jaipur.

The film’s elaborate sets were also vandalised during shooting schedules in Jaipur and Kolhapur.

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First Published: Nov 28, 2017 00:02 IST