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Warning of violent protests, Karni Sena says won’t allow Padmaavat screening

A ‘janata curfew’ will be imposed on theatres screening the movie.

jaipur Updated: Jan 24, 2018 22:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Padmaavat,Sanjay Leela Bhansali,Shri Rajput Karni Sena
An Indian Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel patrols a cinema hall scheduled to Padmaavat in New Delhi . (AFP)

Shri Rajput Karni Sena Wednesday warned of violent protests if Padmaavat is screened in cinema halls on January 25, the day the controversy-mired film is set for nationwide release.

A ‘janata curfew’ will be imposed on theatres screening the movie, Sena patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi said while putting the onus on film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the widespread violent protests across several states. Kalvi also termed as ‘rumours’ the reports that some members of his outfit have watched the film ahead of its release.

“For the last two days, an effort is being made to spread confusion. This is a conspiracy by Bhansali. I have already said that Karni Sena has refused the film-makers’ invitation to watch the film,” Kalvi told reporters.

He said among 38 people for whom the film was screened Tuesday night, there was not a single Rajput or a Karni Sena member. “Our stand remains unchanged. The film should be banned. I call on all social organizations supporting us to impose a janata curfew.”

He also alleged that a dream sequence between the characters of Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati existed in the film. “Those who watched the film have said that there is a dream sequence between Khilji and Rani Padmavati. We have been demanding that there should be no dream sequence and no romantic scene between the two,” he said.

Bhansali had assured in the past that no such sequence exists in the movie. There is no such dream sequence in the movie, according to a report filed by a PTI journalist who has seen the film.

Kalvi said that educationist Professor Kapil Kumar, Arvind Singh of erstwhile royal family of Mewar and Dr Chandramani Singh of Rajasthan University, for whom the CBFC had screened the film had spoken against the film for distorting history. “We have seen the film through their eyes and their advice was to ban the film,” he added.

On violence that has marked the protests against the film, Kalvi said, “The violence is regrettable and sad but Bhansali is to blame for that.”

“I hope violence doesn’t happen, but I can’t guarantee that the protests will be non-violent. Our volunteers will be in states where the film is not banned,” Kalvi said, adding, “If Bhansali distorts our history, we know how to give a befitting reply.”

Violence has broken out in several states including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Hundreds of arrests have been made in connection with the vandalism.

Asked if he would apologise to the public who is being harassed due to the vandalism, Kalvi said “I will apologise to mother Padmavat and the 16,000 women who performed jauhar to save their honour that 800 years later, she is being shown in an intimate scene with Alauddin Khilji.”

Sena’s Rajasthan unit president Mahipal Makrana, meanwhile, warned CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi against attending the Jaipur Literature Festival that also begins January 25.

“What happened with Bhansali will happen with Joshi. He should not come to Jaipur,” he said. Karni Sena had roughed up Bhansali when he was shooting for the film in Jaipur in January 2017.

“Those who want to watch the film should leave Rajasthan,” Makrana said.

Jaipur police has made tight security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident in the city even as film distributors and multiplex owners have refused to screen Bhansali’s magnum opus.

The decks for the nationwide release of the film were cleared after a Supreme Court order.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 22:16 IST