Several theatres in Jaipur on Monday stopped screening the movie Panipat due to criticism by Jat groups that the film portrays Bharatpur’s Maharaja Surajmal negatively, PTI reported. Protests were organised in some cities of Rajasthan against the movie.
The management of some cinemas said the screenings were stopped on the orders of the Jaipur administration, and will resume only after further instructions.
Some of the theatre and theatre chains in which the shows were cancelled were Raj Mandir, Cinepolis and Inox. “All shows of the film have been cancelled till further orders,” Raj Mandir theatre manager Ashok Tanwar said. “The 12 noon show had to be cancelled due to a protest. No untoward incident was reported due to police presence.”
An Inox official said in a statement: “As per instructions of the authorities, we have suspended the screening of the movie at our multiplex in Jaipur. The show will remain suspended till further notice.”
Rajasthan Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh and MLAs Wajib Ali, Mukesh Bhakar and Ramswaroop Gawadia demanded a ban on the film.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters that sentiments of people should not be hurt. “I believe that art and the artists should be respected but they should also take care that any caste, religion, class, great personalities and gods are not insulted,” he said. “The reactions that are coming about the portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal ji in the film...such a situation should not have been created.” Gehlot added that it would be better if the film was screened after satisfying the people of the state.
The film, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and starring Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Kriti Sanon, is based on the third Battle of Panipat, which was fought between the Marathas and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761. The movie was released on December 6.
The film shows Maharaja Surajmal as having denied help to the Maratha army.