Rajput groups have called for a ban on Padmavati starring Deepika Padukone
New Delhi: "Padmavati", the 190-crore film that has run into widespread opposition from politicians, is unlikely to be released till next year, said sources in Viacom-18, the studio that has produced the movie. Promotions for the movie, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Deepika Padukone, will be reduced. Because the producers initially intended to release "Padmavati" on December 1, songs and trailers have already debuted. The film must be banned, four states have said, because it offends the sentiment of Rajputs and other groups. The Supreme Court has twice this month refused to block the movie.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this big story:
Protests against "Padmavati" were started initially by the Karni Sena, which vandalized the movie's sets and assaulted the director during a January shoot in Jaipur.
The movie is about the 14th-century queen, Padmini of Chittor in Rajasthan, who set herself on fire to avoid having to capitulate to Delhi sultan Alauddin Khiji after her husband was killed in battle.
The Karni Sena and other groups say the movie distorts history and besmirches the honour and valour of Padmini by suggesting a romance between her and Khilji, who was infatuated with her beauty. "I am 200% behind this film" said actor Ranveer Singh who plays Khilji. Ms Padukone said recently that the opposition to the film illustrates a "regression" in India.
The states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, all governed by the BJP, and Punjab, which is governed by the Congress, have said the movie should not screen. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh has said the movie will not show in his state even if the censor board clears it.
Yogi Adityanath, who is the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, said on Tuesday that as the movie's director, Mr Bhansali is "no less guilty than those issuing threats to actors" who he accused of being in the habit "of playing with public sentiments". Any action, he said, would be "against both sides" in a reference to those vandalizing theatres and promising more violence, and the movie's makers.
The producers' application for the censor board to review the film has been rejected on technical grounds. A request for a fast-track review which was reportedly made on Monday was also turned down. Prasoon Joshi, who heads the board, has said "debate and dialogue" are essential to resolving the dispute.
The BJP on Monday ordered a senior leader from Haryana, Suraj Pal Amu, to explain his public offer for 10 crores to anyone who beheads Ms Padukone and the movie's director. A police case of criminal intimidation has been filed against him. He responded on Tuesday by warning that "every cinema (screening "Padmavati") could be set on fire.
The Karni Sena has threatened to harm Ms Padukone by "cutting off her nose". State security has been provided to Mr Bhansali and her.
Large protests against the movie have been staged in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and some other states.
The film's producers believe that given the controversy, it may be better to move the release to early next year, partly to avoid competing with Salman Khan's upcoming big release, "Tiger Zinda Hai", which is set for a December 21 launch.