New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaNov 16, 2017, 11.35 AM
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmavati has been facing the heat of Rajput groups ever since the director started filming in Jaipur. The film which features Deepika Padukone in the title role has Shahid Kapoor playing her husband, Rajput king Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh playing Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji.
The film's story is based on a fictional tale which had Ratan Singh going to war with Alauddin Khilji to protect his wife Queen Padmavati's honour. Known for her exceptional beauty, Padmavati was desired by Khilji who wanted to win her over by defeating her husband. Ratan Singh eventually did get killed in the war and Queen Padmavati performed Jauhar (self-immolation) along with thousands of other women of her kingdom in order to protect her honour.
In January this year, members of the Rajput outfit Karni Sena vandalised the sets of Padmavati and even assaulted Sanjay Leela Bhansali as the crew was shooting at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur. They rasied objection to an alleged dream sequence in the film featuring Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji.
Several meetings were held between officials of Bhansali productions and the representatives of Karni Sena following the incident where the makers assured that the film did not have any such dream sequence neither did it tamper with history.
The sets were torched in Kolhapur in March later this year. While no one was hurt, losses worth crores were incurred.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ram Kadam warned that if Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali did not remove “objectionable scenes” from the film, he would not be allowed to shoot any movie in the future. While Bhansali came on record to state that film honoured the valor of the Rajput Queen and in no way distorted facts, Karni Sena has been adamant in stopping the film's release.
On Thursday, the Karni Sena threatened to chop off Deepika Padukone's nose if the film is released on December 1. Another group in Meerut has offered a bounty of Rs 5 crore to anyone who cops off Bhansali's head.
Bhansali, though, has got a lot of support from the film fraternity ever since the controversy broke out. From Anurag Kashyap to Salman Khan to various film bodies- all have appealed to the government to step in and let the film get a smooth release.
Due to increasing threats, security has been stepped up for Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is reportedly going to screen the film to CBFC on Thursday.
Meanwhile, certain BJP leaders had appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner demanding the stalling of 'Padmavati' release ahead of Gujarat elections. The Supreme Court a week back had refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the release of the film till CBFC had considered all options and given a certificate.
On Thursday, the UP government urged the CBFC to take into account the sentiments of the people before certifying the film. The letter stated that the film's release could disrupt the peace and harmony of the state as several theaters in Noida were threatened by Karni Sena of vandalism if they agreed to screen the film in their respective theaters.