Raje to Smriti: Don't release Padmavati without changes
Jaipur/ Mumbai: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has written to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, urging her to ensure that 'Padmavati' is not released without necessary changes to the film. Raje also said that the Censor Board should consider all possible results before certifying the film, a day after the Board sent the film back to its makers because the application for the certification was "incomplete".
In the letter to Irani, she suggested that a committee of historians, film experts and members from the Rajput community be formed to look into the film's subject and necessary changes be made to it so that it does not hurt the sentiments of any community. The letter is the first official communication from the Rajasthan chief minister on the controversy surrounding the epic drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.
Both Padukone and Bhansali have received threats. The film is based on Rajput queen Padmavati and is scheduled to release on December 1. Various Rajput groups have been protesting across the country, including in Rajasthan, against releasing the film, alleging it "distorts" history and hurts sentiments of people.
On Friday, the protesters blocked entry to the Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan. On Saturday, a similar protest was held at the Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajsamand district of the state.
Raje said that a filmmaker has the right to make a film as per their understanding but provisions were also there in the Constitution to control such rights in case of hurt to public sentiments and law and order. Therefore, she said, there should be a rethink on the release of the film, an official statement said tonight.
A delegation from Mewar region, comprising the state's Urban Development Minister Shrichand Kriplani, MLA Chittorgarh Chandrabhan and others, met Raje at her residence and expressed gratitude for writing the letter to Irani.
Meanwhile, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi on Saturday slammed the makers of "Padmavati" for screening the movie for various television channels without getting a censor certificate. Joshi's statement comes after reports that the producers of "Padmavati" held a special screening for a few journalists.
A day after the CBFC sent Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film back because the application for the certification was "incomplete", Joshi said that he was "disappointed" that it was being screened for the media and getting reviewed on national channels without CBFC having seen or certified it.
"This compromises the role of systems and balances that are part of a functioning industry. It's myopic to treat the certification process haphazardly to suit convenience," he said in the statement. "On one hand, holding the CBFC responsible and pressurising to accelerate the process and on the other hand, attempt to subvert the very process, sets an opportunistic precedent," he added.