After facing a year of protests in India, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat is now facing a fresh hurdle in Malaysia. Its National Film Censorship Board has banned the movie in the country, Free Malaysia Today reported.
“The storyline of the film touches on the sensitivities of Islam,” said Chairperson Mohammed Zamberi Abdul Aziz. “That in itself is a matter of grave concern in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country.”
Padmaavat had released without incident in Pakistan – also a Muslim majority nation. Chairman of the Pakistan Central Board of Film Censors Mobashir Hasan had said, “The CBFC is not biased in arts, creativity and healthy entertainment,” IANS reported.
Malaysia’s censorship board had made the decision to ban Padmaavat on Saturday. On Monday, however, its chairperson said distributors of the movie had moved the Film Appeals Committee, which is a separate entity from the board, though both include members appointed by the Home Ministry.
Aziz said the censorship board will decide on the fate of Padmaavat on Tuesday after the appeals committee makes a decision.
Padmaavat released amid protests in India on January 25, though it was initially slated to hit the screens on December 1. Its release and certification were delayed and stalled because of repeated protests and threats of violence by Rajput groups led by the Karni Sena, who maintained that film distorted the “history of Hindus” and insulted Rajput queen Padmini, even though most historians believe she was a mythical character.