Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the cases against those who protested against the controversial film "Padmavat" will be withdrawn. A memorial of Rani Padmavati will also be built in Bhopal, and land for the memorial has been earmarked, Mr Chouhan said today in the run-up to by-elections in 28 assembly seats of the state.
"We have decided to withdraw all the cases registered during the protest against the film in the state as the protesters were opposing injustice," Mr Chouhan said, speaking at the traditional "shastra pujan" (weapons worship) programme of the local Rajput community.
The Chief Minister also attacked the controversial film of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, calling it a "blow to society's honour", and noted that it was banned in Madhya Pradesh.
Lessons on Rani Padmavati will be included in school curriculum from the next academic year, and annual prizes of Rs 2 lakh each will be instituted in the names of Maharana Pratap and Rani Padmavati to felicitate exemplary bravery, Mr Chouhan said.
Madhya Pradesh was one of six states where violence unfolded over the Deepika Padukone starrer, a fictionalised account of Rani Padmini of Rajasthan. The Rajput community had alleged that the film distorted history and showed the queen in a poor light.
The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapur, was cleared by the censor board after a number of edits and a change of title from Padmavati to Padmaavat.
Still, violence unfolded across 6 states in January 2018 as the film released, with mobs targeting cinema theatres, malls and even market places. Trains were stopped and arson was reported from many places.