‘Padmavati’ Controversy Politically Planned To Destroy Freedom Of Expression: CM Mamata

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that the ‘Padmavati’ controversy is the calculated plan of a political party to destroy freedom of expression.

The Chief Minister tweeted, “The Padmavati controversy is not only unfortunate but also a calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves. We condemn this super emergency. All in the film industry must come together and protest in one voice.”

The chief minister’s stand in favour of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ comes amid protests against the release of the film by the Rajput community and some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders across the country.

An organisation of Kshatriyas in West Bengal wrote to her, demanding the removal of the ghoomar dance and some other scenes from the film, saying they are “objectionable”.

BJP leader from Haryana Suraj Pal Amu on Sunday declared a bounty of Rs. 10 crore for beheading actress Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Speaking at a private event, Amu threatened actor Ranveer Singh of breaking his legs after the latter had expressed his unhappiness at the mounting protests by fringe groups like Rajput Karni Sena.

The leader also questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue. He said the Rajput community was used as a vote bank by the saffron party and added that he is ready to quit the party but will not bow down on the issue.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya yesterday said ‘Padmavati’ will not be allowed to be released in the state unless its “controversial portions” are removed.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government has also banned ‘Padmavati’ in the state. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has turned down the application by makers of ‘Padmavati’ seeking to expedite Certification process of the movie.

‘Padmavati’ has been facing protests over alleged distortion of historical facts in the film. Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in support of Bhansali and the team, with many leading artists calling it an attack on ”creative freedom”.

The Supreme Court will today hear a plea filed by senior lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma seeking direction to delete certain objectionable scenes from the movie.

In the plea filed on Friday, Sharma also sought prosecution of the filmmaker. Earlier on November 10, the apex court rejected the petition filed against the release of Bhansali’s magnum opus

‘Padmavati’, saying the CBFC has not yet issued a certificate to the movie. The film has been embroiled in a spate of controversies ever since its inception.

The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts.

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