Amid rumours that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s beleagured movie Padmavati will miss its release date on December 1 and will be pushed to January comes the news that the censor board has sent back the film’s certification application because it was allegedly “incomplete”.
“The film was submitted for certification last week,” an official of the Central Board of Film Certification told PTI. “We examined the documents, as we normally do. It was conveyed to the makers that their application was incomplete. They had to rectify and send it back, we will view it when it comes back to us.”
Ajit Andhare, the chief operating officer of co-producer Viacom18 Motion Pictures, confirmed the news. “The film is with the CBFC, it is merely a minor technical issue,” he told PTI. “Nothing stops them from seeing the film if they want.”
The producers will need to resubmit the film and start the certification process all over again. If Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, does not get certified on time, it will not be meet its release deadline.
Andhare has also categorically denied that the movie will miss its release date, and has stated that Padmavati will be released on December 1 as scheduled.
The movie has been facing vitriolic attacks from several chauvinist Rajput groups, who are opposing the film’s purported treatment of its subject matter. Inspired by the epic poem Padmavat, Bhansali’s movie explores the lust of Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khijli for the Chittor queen Padmini, which provokes him to conquer her kingdom. There have been movies and television serials on the subject before, none of which have faced the level of criticism heaped on Bhansali.
Rajput groups have vandalised the film’s sets, criticised Bhansali and the cast on all available fora, and threatened physical harm to the director and Deepika Padukone if the movie is not banned. Many members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have joined the protests, while a fringe group in Uttar Pradesh, the Chatriya Samaj, has offered Rs five crores to whoever beheads Bhansali and Padukone.
No arrests have been made so far, and no action has been taken against those who have threatened violence. The Union Home Ministry has declared that it is the responsibility of the states to ensure security, and has reposed its faith in the decision of the censor board, currently headed by Prasoon Joshi.