Padmavati row: Centre refuses to intervene, says law and order is a state subject
The Maharashtra government said the theatres screening the film across the state from December 1 will be provided security cover.
The Centre on Thursday refused to intervene in the controversy around Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film Padmavati. Rajput groups have been protesting across states alleging Bhansali has distorted historical facts in the film.
“Law and order is a state subject and the state should respond,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said, according to News18.
The Centre’s stand comes a day after the Uttar Pradesh government asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to stop the release of the film to avoid law and order problems. “Movies with distorted historical facts, exaggeration, false and fictional stories create a vicious atmosphere in the nation,” UP Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said in the letter to the ministry.
However, the Maharashtra government on Thursday assured that theatres showing Padmavati in the state will be given full security, News18 reported. The film is slated to be released on December 1.
Earlier on Thursday, Rajput Karni Sena declared a nationwide strike on December 1 if Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie is released, demanding a ban on the movie. The outfit’s founder, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter, and claimed that the Cinematography Act allows the government to withhold a movie’s release for three months even after it has been given clearance by the Central Board of Film Certification.
The Karni Sena also threatened to cause physical harm to Deepika Padukone if the film was released. “Rajputs never raise their hand on women, but if need be we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Surpanakha,” a member of the outfit said in a video that was released on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Ajmer Dargah Deewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan on Thursday urged Modi to ban the film, saying it hurt religious sentiments, PTI reported. Abedin likened Bhansali to writers like Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen and Tareq Fatah, alleging they had hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims while taking benefit of the freedom of expression and speech.
On Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ram Kadam warned that if Bhansali did not remove “objectionable scenes” from Padmavati, he would not be allowed to shoot any movie in future. After repeated threats, the Mumbai Police have stepped up security at the filmmaker’s office and home, ANI reported. He has also been provided with an armed guard.
Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been in the midst of a controversy since January when members of the Rajput Karni Sena assaulted Bhansali on the set of the movie in Jaipur. The shoot was then shifted to Maharashtra. The Karni Sena is against a supposed romantic scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji, which Bhansali had said was not in the film.