Jaipur: The controversy surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Padmavati’ is fast taking a political colour in the state.
State home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said on Friday that the film cannot be banned once it’s certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), but “the state art and culture department would look into objections raised by the Rajput community and several memorandums received by the government demanding a ban on the film”.
Asked about how this will be done, Kataria said, “It is for the department to look into that. It is too early to say much on this. All I can say is that we will ensure that the film does not hurt the sentiments of Rajputs. The concerned department, which might consult historians and Rajput leaders, will take a call on what is to be done.”
He added that the government was prepared to ensure that the film’s screenings would not create a law and order problem.
Meanwhile, Ghanshyam Tiwari, dissident BJP MLA from Sanganer, held the state government responsible for the controversy and urged Rajput outfits to protest against a 2016 tweet by Rajasthan Tourism which identified Padmavati as Allauddin Khilji’s ‘beloved’. After severe criticism, that tweet was deleted.
“Bhansali is not the root cause of the whole controversy. In my opinion, it is the state government that is responsible. The government is supposed to safeguard the dignity of the state and thus should clarify its stand on the Padmavati film,” Tiwari said.
The leader of Opposition, Rameshwar Dudi of Congress, too, expressed his resentment over the film. “The annoyance over the film is not just confined to the Rajput community. Rani Padmavati is a symbol of woman power in India and not identified as just a Rajput queen. There have been movies made before, but the directors kept in mind public and community sentiment. Distortion of facts cannot be allowed. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje should make the government’s stand clear on the film,” he said in a statement.
Hundreds of the Bajrang Dal members demonstrated outside the collectorate in Jaipur and handed over a representation, addressed to chief minister, to a district administration official demanding a ban. “We are demanding a complete ban on the film based on distorted facts. It is clear from the promos that objectionable facts have been shown in the film in relation to Rani Padmavati,” claimed Ashok Singh, state coordinator of Bajrang Dal, adding that such protests were held across the state on Friday.
Members of the Rajput community are expected to meet chief minister Raje in Alwar on Saturday and demand a complete ban on the film.