Film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali recently sent an invitation to right-wing group Shri Rajput Karni Sena and other Rajput associations to watch Padmaavat, its patron and founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi said. He also urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the film.
In a press conference on Saturday, Kalvi said the letter has been sent after the date of release of the film has been fixed.
“This letter will be put into flames as it is just a part of show-off which has been done in an endeavour to prove that ‘we have invited Rajput community leaders’.”
Kalvi has now appealed to the Prime Minister to ban the film under “section 6 of the Cinematography Act”.
“[A total of] 1908 Kshatriya females have registered their names to perform jauhar [Hindu custom of mass self-immolation done by women to evade capture, enslavement and rape by foreign invaders in pre-Independence India] in Chittorgarh on January 24 if the film’s screening is not stopped,” he said.
The letter reads that the Rajput community has been misled in this context. “The film will maintain the honour and dignity of Queen Padmavati… The dream sequence being talked about in the film is just a rumour and we have already apprised you about the same in the letter sent on January 29, 2017. There is no such scene… We assure that the entire Rajput community will feel proud after watching the film,” says the letter.
Talking about the movie, Kalvi said, “We never asked him to show us the film but we wanted nine historians to be shown the film, out of which the film has been shown to three historians only. On top of it, the advice of these historians was also not considered. We now want that the film should be shown to the six remaining historians as well and their opinion on the same sought.”
He added that the historians have been insulted as their opinions were ignored and the film’s release date was decided.
“Now at this point of time, the only solution is to ban the film completely,” he said.
Padmaavat has had a long history of trouble. It stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji.
From being assaulted on the film’s set in Jaipur to the set being vandalised in Kolhapur to getting threats from detractors — director Bhansali has been facing the ire of organisations that are up in arms against the period drama since its inception — when it was titled Padmavati.
Months after facing opposition, the makers, Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, clarified that the film was based on 16th century Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmavat, and does not distort historical facts — as was being alleged by some Rajput outfits.
The makers of Padmaavat secured a U/A certificate from the censor board after incorporating five modifications, and locked the release date as January 25.
The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the pan-Indian release of Padmaavat on January 25 by staying the operation of orders by the Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana governments banning its release.
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