Movie censorship

‘Padmaavat’ row: Over 100 Karni Sena members detained for protesting outside censor board office

They have demanded the film be banned, though the CBFC has cleared it with some edits and a title change.

The Gamdevi Police on Friday arrested 132 members of the Karni Sena, which has been demanding a ban on the film Padmaavat, for protesting outside the censor board office in Mumbai. The protestors, who were shouting slogans outside the Central Board of Film Certification office, were booked for unlawful assembly.

Dnyaneshwar Chavan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II), told The Hindu that the protestors had not sought police permission before agitating outside the CBFC’s office.

The protestors were also demanding the film be shown to them before its release. “We will not allow the movie to release,” Santosh Singh Rathod, one of the protestors, told DNA. “Changing name is not enough. We want the movie to be shown to us.”

The CBFC had cleared the film, originally titled Padmavati, for release on January 25, after asking for some cuts. Protestors have also objected to the UA certificate the film has been given. The film will not be released in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.

The fight to release the movie

Padmaavat, which has also been converted to 3D, was originally slated to be released on 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 16th Century poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jaisi. Relying on folklore, legend, history and the imagination, Padmaavat explores Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji’s lust for 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 is a romanticised account of the battle in Chittor. The story has been widely adapted for the screen, including by Hindi and Tamil producers and for television, without any incident in the past.

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