Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said his government will introduce a chapter on the legendary queen in the state school curriculum next year. Padmavati is a “rashtramata”, Chouhan said, and added that students will learn about her greatness. Two days earlier, he announced that a memorial will be established in Bhopal to display Rani Padmavati’s valour.

Separately, a Madhya Pradesh education officer has asked schools in Dewas district not to play a song from the controversial film Padmavati at any function on campus. On Wednesday, the District Education Officer of Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district, Rajeev Suryavanshi, cited a notice from the Rajput Karni Sena – the group leading the protests against the film – to ask government and private schools not to play the song Ghoomar at any cultural event on campus, The Indian Express reported. The officer has not commented on his move.

Gujarat bans the film

In Gujarat, the government issued a notice banning the film in “public interest” and to “maintain law and order situation in the state”. The notification, dated November 22, said cinema owners and distributors will not be allowed to screen the film.

Gujarat is the second state to preemptively ban the film, after Uttar Pradesh.

Controversy and threats

Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been in the midst of a controversy since January, with Rajput groups and others accusing Bhansali of distorting history.

In the past few weeks, Padukone and Bhansali have received threats. Mahipal Singh Makrana, Rajput Karni Sena’s state president, openly threatened to chop off Padukone’s nose for her role in the film. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief media coordinator for Haryana, Suraj Pal Amu, announced a Rs 10-crore reward for anyone who beheads Padukone and Bhansali. After these threats, Viacom18 Motion Pictures – the co-producers of the film – said they had decided to “voluntarily defer” its release. The movie was scheduled to be out on December 1.

The Supreme Court has refused to interfere in the controversy. Lawyer ML Sharma moved the court asking for the “objectionable scenes” to be deleted, but the court said, “We cannot interfere with the Central Board of Film Certification’s work.”