- Supreme Court rejects appeal to block Dec 1 release of "Padmavati"
- Film distorts relationship between historical characters, say protestors
- No love story between Queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, says director
Padmavati, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, tells the story of Queen Padmini of Chittoor in Rajasthan and stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.
The film has run into controversy with some Hindu groups, mainly in Rajasthan, stating that it romanticizes the relationship between Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, the Delhi ruler who was obsessed with her. Legend has it that after her husband was killed, Padmini set herself on fire along with other women to prevent Khilji from taking her prisoner.
The director has denied any intimate scenes or love story between Padmini and Khilji; he released a video earlier this week reasserting his claims.
But among those who have said the film must be previewed by groups that object to it are Diya Kumari, a BJP law-maker whose grandfather was the last maharajah of Jaipur and who commands considerable influence locally. The sets and the director were attacked in January while shooting in the desert state.
The Rajasthan government is considering "the option of forming a committee to look into issues related with Padmavati in Rajasthan," Home Minister Gulab Chand kataria said today. The committee is likely to have historians as members.
Union minister Uma Bharti said recently that the "honour of Indian women" must be correctly portrayed and urged the film-makers to engage with critics, historians and representatives of groups that have objected to the movie.
Rajasthan has seen several protests against the 200-crore movie, whose makers say they plan to release it on December 1 though they have yet to submit it for clearance to the censor board.
A member of the censor board who is also a BJP leader says he has written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding that the director be tried for treason for distorting historical facts and hurting national sentiment. "If this is not done, he will continue making such films," said Arjun Gupta, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Earlier this week, a BJP parliamentarian from Madhya Pradesh warned of possible violence if the film is not blocked.