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Gujarat Bans ‘Padmavati’ As Row Continues To Simmer

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The Gujarat government today banned the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmavati with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani claiming it was “hurting sentiments” of the Rajput community and would not be screened in the poll-bound state in view of law and order concerns.

A notification banning the film’s release was issued by the information and broadcasting department of the state.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of the Section 6 of the Gujarat Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 2004, the government of Gujarat hereby imposes ban on Hindi feature film Padmavati produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions Pvt Ltd within the jurisdiction of the state of Gujarat,” the notification read.

Earlier in the day, Rupani had said he will not allow the film to release in the poll-bound state as it hurt sentiments of the Rajput community.

Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, GujaratWe can’t allow our history to be distorted. We believe in freedom of speech and expression but any foul play with our great culture is not tolerated.

“Elections are also approaching and we do not want any row here. The matter comes under law and order situation and that is the reason we have taken this decision,” he added.

Asked if he had seen the film, he said, “The makers of the film should screen it for those who are protesting against it and resolve the issue.” Several BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have expressed opposition to the film.

Also Read: Supreme Court Rejects Plea To Delete ‘Objectionable Scenes’ Of ‘Padmavati’

Rupani’s Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, however, said that he would wait and watch for the censor board’s decision on the movie. “The government will take a call upon the screening of Padmavati after the decision by CBFC,” Khattar said adding that nobody would be allowed to hurt sentiments.

He distanced himself from the Haryana BJP chief media coordinator Surajpal Singh Amu’s remarks about offering a bounty of Rs 10 crore to anyone beheading Bhansali or lead actress Deepika Padukone.

“The BJP has also issued a show cause notice to Amu,” he said while also pointing to an FIR against the state leader. The row over the Bollywood flick, meanwhile, continued to simmer with the Shri Rajput Karni Sena demanding that its reels be “consigned to the flames of Jauhar”.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha waded in, questioning what he called the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani.

Former CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, in an editorial in party organ Peoples'Democracy, compared the protesters with cow vigilantes, and said “mob rule” had become one of the “hallmarks of the Modi raj”.

The controversy also reached the portals of Parliament as a House panel sought a report on the film from the I&B ministry and the censor board.

The matter was taken up for consideration by the Lok Sabha Committee after two BJP MPs from Rajasthan, CP Joshi and Om Birla, filed a plea regarding objectionable content in the movie. Joshi told PTI that the movie should be shown to historians and the descendants of the erstwhile royal families, who trace their lineage to Padmavati, before its release.

“The panel has referred the matter to the I&B Ministry and the censor board. It has asked them to submit a report before November 30,” BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who heads the panel, said.

Also Read: ‘Padmavati’ Will Not Hit Your Nearest Screens On Dec. 1

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