Former Royals, Historians Among 6-Member Panel That Will Review "Padmavati"

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film 'Padmavati' was accused of distorting history by groups who issued violent threats against the cast and crew.

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Former Royals, Historians Among 6-Member Panel That Will Review 'Padmavati'

Karni Sena has threatened the film's director and lead star with violence

New Delhi:  Sanjay Leela Bhansali's historical drama Padmavati, mired in a huge controversy, will be reviewed by a six-member panel which includes former royals and historians, sources told NDTV on Wednesday. The panel was appointed by the Central Board of Film Certification after the makers of the film stated that it was partially based on historical facts.

Last week, news agency IANS quoted sources at the censor board saying the filmmakers "unnecessarily complicated their case" with an ambiguous disclaimer in its application for certification which stated that the film was partially based on historical facts.

"The content will now have to be scrutinised for authenticity," the source had told IANS. The film had earlier been sent back to the producers after it was found that the column for stating whether it was a work of fiction or was based on historical facts was left blank.

"Padmavati", the 190-crore film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, has drawn angry protests in Rajasthan where fringe groups like the Karni Sena says the movie "distorts history". Though they have not seen the movie, leaders of the Karni Sena and several politicians say the 13th-century queen, Padmini, has been disrespected by Mr Bhansali suggesting in his movie that she was romantically involved with Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji. 

Mr Bhansali has denied any allusion to a love story, but several BJP-ruled states including Rajasthan have banned the movie, declaring they will not permit it to screen even if it is cleared by the censor board, which has yet to review the film. "Padmavati" has been produced by Viacom-18; the studio has suggested it will delay the film's release, originally planned for December 1, to next year.

Padmini, according to legend, was a Rajput warrior queen from Chittor in Rajasthan who set herself on fire to save her honour after Khilji defeated her husband in battle.

The Karni Sena has threatened Mr Bhansali and his lead star, Deepika Padukone, with violence. Both have been given state security. The Supreme Court has so far refused to ban the film. Union ministers like Uma Bharti have said the director should consult with historians and protestors to review objectionable scenes and delete them.

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The Karni Sena assaulted Mr Bhansali and vandalized his set while he was shooting "Padmavati" in Jaipur in January; large groups of Rajputs including in Chittor have held demonstrations against the film.

(With inputs from agencies)

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