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Vishad Srivastava, Legal News Reporter
The movie padmavat is now becoming a matter of grave concern for the Indian judiciary system and it is directly striking and posting a real question on our democracy. Latest development is that on 25 January Supreme Court has agreed to hear two petitions which sought initiation of contempt proceedings against 4 state governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan for not ensuring law and order situation before the release of movie and thereby in view of present scenario multiplex association has withdraw to screen the movie. For Sanjay Leela Bhansali it has been difficult task to get the film release and film has qualified almost every legal and normative aspect but still lags to appease a section of fringe groups who are just trying to get media attention and whose jobs are going through this type of vague protest under the curtain of caste or to find immoral pride in their caste by attacking on school bus. Let’s review the timeline of complete story.
Timeline from January 2017 to January 2018
Almost a year ago, Rajput organisations first started causing trouble for the movie. In January 2017 the sets of the movie at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur were destroyed by members of Karni Sena. The fringe group staged an angry protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali, even getting violent against the director. They also destroyed costly film equipment, and the incident stopped the shooting of the movie for a few days.
In March 2017, the sets of the movie in Kolhapur’s Masai plateau were vandalised during the night. The movie’s sets were torched, which not only damaged private property but also hurt animals present on the set at the time of the incident. About 20 to 30 people reached the sets of the film armed with petrol bombs, stones and lathis. Before lighting the set on fire, they torched the fodder for animals, and destroyed the costumes. The attacks were staged because fringe Rajput groups claimed that the film has a dream sequence where Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji will be seen being intimate. The claims were dismissed by the team of the movie.
In September 2017 Deepika Padukone’s first look poster was released. Rajput Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, burnt posters of the movie in Jaipur and shouted slogans against Bhansali. Narain Singh Divrala, district president Jaipur of the Rajput Karni Sena, told IANS, “We want him to show the film to the core committee of Shri Rajput Karni Sena and various organizations, including historians, before releasing it. Till then we will not allow the film to be released. If the Karni Sena core committee and historians don’t have any problems only then will we allow screening of the movie.”
In October 2017, the movie got embroiled in another controversy when goons destroyed an artist’s 48 hours of hard work in less than a minute. It was Surat artist Karan K’s rangoli which featured Deepika Padukone in her character in Padmavati. It was after Deepika drew the attention of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on the incident that Surat police arrested five people for allegedly vandalising the rangoli.
After the protest by Rajput Karni Sena to watch the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directoial before its actual release, BJP decided to write to the Election Commission, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Central government to temporarily hold the release of the film for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Kshatriya community. “We are writing to the ECI, CBFC and the Centre seeking to stop the film’s release for a temporary period till the issue is resolved,” said BJP spokesperson IK Jadeja. He also added, “An attempt has been made to wrongly link the two characters (Padmavati and Khilji) of history.”
Protests Padmavati intensified in Rajasthan with several organisations stating their objection to the film questioning Rani Padmini’s portrayal, and the distributors were keen on getting away from the project. “We don’t want to get involved in this controversy; our company has decided to not get involved in this film until this controversy is sorted out,” said Raj Bansal, a film distributor from Rajasthan. “None of my colleagues – there are 3–4 (top) distributors in Rajasthan – and none of them is ready for it. There may still be time to settle the controversy but it keeps on increasing now, to Gujarat, Maharashtra…” he said.
Shri Rajput Sabha, the Rajput body, also wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi and asked for a countrywide ban on the film. They also filed an FIR against Bhansali calling him a “habitual offender”. Ujjain MP Chintamani Malviya wrote a Facebook post saying, “People like Bhansali do not understand any other language. People like him only understand the language of shoes. This country will not disrespect Rani Padmavati. We will not tolerate any distortion of our history. Mental deformity of Bhansali would not be tolerated in the name of freedom of expression.” He also added, “If the film industry crosses its boundaries, then it should not be expected that the elected representatives will be within their limits.”
Many petition has been filed against the movie and Sanjay Leela and Mukesh Ambani. The petition was filed by Bombay advocate where he sought direction for CBI to register FIR against Mukesh Ambani and Sanjay Leela Bhansali for defaming queen Padmani and for which in a 148 words judgement by CJI clearly mention that few people hw innovately misuses the Article 32 of Constitution of India and are thinking the institution as labrotary of malfunction experiments.
After this 2 more petition was filed against the movie but apex court dismissed by stating it would be premature to come on any decision as it has not got CBFC certificate at that time, till then 2 state has put up the notification to ban the movie. After that finally Supreme Court denied for stay on movie and directed the government to release and to be not ban and patronage should be give full security.
The situation like this has happened earlier but it is upon the government to how to tackle the problem. I f we could remember when Shahrukh Khan starrer movie My Name Is Khan was about to release similar type of situation was created but then Chief Minister took a good stand against those fringe element and watched himself first day first show by challenging Shiv Sena people to stop him and after this within 3 days all distress was over. So we can see that it is simply the administration who can stop this handful of anti social elements and if it do not take good step then this handful mob will go on ruthlessly damaging the property and will be going to kill small kids and in the blank spirit of misguided path they will try to find out their pride which they have forgot that pride is not what by blazing tyres or buses it is the service for nation and work for nation and work for equality which will make a community proud, which will make a nation proud and not the bounty on the heads of celebrities.