Guj Bans ‘Padmavati’ As Row Continues

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Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government on Wednesday banned the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali film ‘Padmavati’ with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani claiming it was “hurting sentiments” of the Rajput community and would not be screened in the poll-bound state in view of law and order concerns.

A notification banning the film’s release was issued by the information and broadcasting department of the state. “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of the section 6 of the Gujarat Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 2004, the government of Gujarat hereby imposes ban on Hindi feature film “Padmavati” produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions Pvt Ltd within the jurisdiction of the state of Gujarat,” the notification read.

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Earlier in the day, Rupani had said he will not allow the film to release in the poll-bound state as it hurt the sentiments of the Rajput community. “We can’t allow our history to be distorted. We believe in freedom of speech and expression but any foul play with our great culture is not tolerated,” the chief minister said.

Several BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have expressed opposition to the film. Rupani’s Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, however, said that he would wait and watch for the censor board decision on the movie. “The government will take a call upon the screening of Padmavati after the decision by CBFC,” Khattar said adding that nobody would be allowed to hurt sentiments.

He distanced himself from the Haryana BJP chief media coordinator Surajpal Singh Amu’s remarks about offering a bounty of Rs ten crore to anyone beheading Bhansali or lead actress Deepika Padukone. “The BJP has also issued a show cause notice to Amu,” he said while also pointing to an FIR against the state leader. The row over the Bollywood flick, meanwhile, continued to simmer with the Shri Rajput Karni Sena demanding that its reels be “consigned to the flames of Jauhar”.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha waded in questioning what he called the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani. Director Bhansali recently clarified that rumours about a romantic dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and Khilji’s characters were not true as he was careful in depicting “Rajput honour and dignity”.

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