Padmavati controversy: CBFC can take upto 61 days for a decision on a film's certification
New Delhi: The producers of Bollywood film Padmavati said they have voluntarily deferred the release of the film -- slated for December 1 -- reported news agency Press Trust of India. A delay appeared inevitable as the Central Board of Film Certification, popularly called the censor board, withheld the movie's clearance last week, saying its paperwork was incomplete. On Saturday, Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi slammed the makers for allowing the film to be screened for media channels before obtaining a board certification. Two state governments, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, have raised objections to the December 1 release. The movie ran into trouble with Rajput groups since the shooting started, and protests over it have been spiralling since.
Here are the latest developments in this big story:
"We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film. We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course," Padmavati producers Viacom18 said in a statement.
A new release date will be announced once the "requisite clearances" are in place, the Viacom18 spokesperson said. The censor board can take up to 61 days for a decision on a film's certification.
Rajput groups say the Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor starrer has distorted history and invented a romantic angle between Chittor's legendary Queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, the Delhi Sultan said to be infatuated with her.
Demanding a complete ban on the movie, hundreds held protest outside Rajasthan's Chittorgarh fort on Sunday. Besides various Rajput groups, the protesters included members of the Congress and Bajrang Dal.
The fort's doors were forcibly closed on Saturday by members of the Karni Sena, the Rajput group spearheading the protests. The protests also spread to neighbouring Kumbhalgarh fort.
After meeting various groups, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje wrote to Information Minister Smriti Irani, saying the release should be put on hold to allow time for discussion. The film, she said, should not be released without changes so it won't hurt the sentiments of any community.
Citing protests against the film, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath said it anticipated law and order disruption if the film was released on December 1. In Gujarat, where assembly elections are due next month, the ruling BJP has asked the Election Commission to defer the release of the film till after the elections.
After protests in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi and Karnataka, a leader of Karni Sena threatened actor Deepika Padukone with physical harm. The threat prompted Mumbai police to scale up the actor's security.
The film's director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, has repeatedly denied the allegations. Recently he released a video clarifying that his film does not distort history and the film was also screened privately for a few journalists on Friday and Saturday.