Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday said Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavat will not be screened in the state, The Indian Express reported. She made the statement the day the movie’s co-producer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, confirmed that Padmavat, earlier named Padmavati, will be released on January 25.
“Rani Padmini’s sacrifice is associated with the honour, esteem and pride of the state, so Rani Padmini is not merely a history chapter for us, but is our self-esteem,” Raje said. “We will not allow her dignity to be hurt howsoever.”
The chief minister ordered Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria to ensure that the film is not screened in the state, saying the emotions of the public should be respected.
A number of Rajput organisations in the states on Monday protested against the movie’s release and threatened to gather at cinema halls with batons and petrol, The Times of India reported. “Let me make it loud and clear that India will burn if the Central Board of Film Certification, producers or cinema hall owners release the film on January 25,” Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, the national president of the Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena, said.
The fight to release the movie
The release date for Padmavat, which has also been converted to 3D, was originally December 1. Repeated protests and threats of violence by Rajput groups, led by the Rajput Karni Sena, stalled the movie’s release and delayed its certification. The censor board, headed by Prasoon Joshi, appointed a panel of historians to look into the claim that the film contains historical inaccuracies. The movie was finally cleared with a few changes on the condition that Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures change the title from Padmavati to Padmavat to align it closer to its source material.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, the historical drama is based on the sixteenth-century poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jaisi. Relying on folklore, legend, history and the imagination, Padmavat explores Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji’s lust for the Chittor queen Padmini, which leads to a battle that claims the lives of the queen and her husband, Ratansen.
Padmini is widely thought to be a fictional character and Padmavat, a romanticised account of the battle in Chittor. The story has been widely adapted for the screen without incident in the past, including by Hindi and Tamil producers and for television.