Gujarat government banned the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali film ‘Padmavati’ on Wednesday. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the film hurt “sentiments” of the Rajput community and the state had decided not screen the film in the poll-bound state over 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 said.
Several BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have expressed opposition to the film.
“We 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,” CM Rupani said.
There are issues with the film, our sympathy is with those protesting against the film and that is the reason we will not allow its release in the state till those issues are resolved, he added.
According to the CM, the filmmakers should resolve the issue after screening the film for those who are agitating against it.
Meanwhile, Haryana said it would wait till censor board takes a decision on the film.
“The government will take a call upon the screening of Padmavati after the decision by CBFC,” Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said.
The CM also distanced himself from the Haryana BJP chief media coordinator Surajpal Singh Amu’s remarks about offering a bounty of ₹ 10 crore to anyone beheading Bhansali or lead actress Deepika Padukone.
“The BJP has also issued a show cause notice to Amu,” while referring to an FIR against the state leader.
The film controversy also reached the 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 on Petitions after two BJP MPs from Rajasthan, CP Joshi and Om Birla, filed a plea regarding objectionable content in the movie.
“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.
(With inputs from PTI)