NEW DELHI: "Padmavati" director Sanjay Leela Bhansali told a parliamentary panel on Thursday that he had not distorted history in the film and he had promised to screen the movie before some royals of Rajasthan because he wished to avoid a row, sources said.
As protests peaked over the movie and several states pushed for a ban on it, the director had appeared before the panel to explain his point of view.
After a two-and-a-half-hour question-answer session, the panel asked him to submit a written response within a fortnight, sources said.
The panel had some questions about the Rs. 190-crore movie. Sources said Bhansali was asked whether Jauhar, ritual of self-immolation practised in Rajasthan, could be shown on film, why he gave so little time to the Central Board of Film Certification for clearing the movie and why it was screened before journalists before a clearance from the regulatory body.
"I have not distorted history. I have based the movie on a poem... the misunderstanding was due to rumours," Bhansali told the panel, sources said. Rajput groups have claimed that the movie had besmirched the 13th Century queen Padmini, by indicating a romance between her and Alauddin Khilji, the Delhi Sultan obsessed with her beauty.
Bhansali, who repeatedly rejected such allegations, even held a screening before some journalists to prove his claims - a move that CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi said was disappointing. Joshi, who appeared before the panel on Thursday along with Bhansali, said he would form a committee of experts to take a call on the certification of Padmavati. The censor board has not given clearance to the film, saying its paperwork was incomplete.