Controversies are not new for Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his films. But, it seems like his recent film Padmavati is most controversial from all of the others. The film is inspired by a Tamil film “Chittoor Rani Padmini”. It is based on an epic poem ‘Padmavat’ written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540.
Here are 5 ‘P’ to understand what the controversy is all about:
The film became a subject of controversy in January when Karni Sena, a Rajput community, assaulted Bhansali and mob destroyed the film set. The action was induced because according to the agitators the historical facts revolving the Queen Padmavati are inaccurate and portray her in a bad light. There were massive protests held in September when the first look of Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati was out.
The protests against the film further intensified in Rajput dominated regions like Rajasthan. The protestors took to the streets and signed petitions to ban the film completely. In Rajasthan the agitation has led to blockage of forts and burning of the film posters and Bhansali’s effigies.
The deeply offended Rajput community and the protectors of the Hindu culture have made Bhansali push the release date indefinitely. The most sensitive states in the light of the controversy are mostly from the Rajput dominated regions like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh among others. This has led Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan CM, to make a plea to the Broadcasting and Information Minister, Smriti Irani to put a ban on the release of the film till the scenes that offend the Rajput sentiments are omitted.
While Padmavati was going through the storm of controversy its leading lady Deepika Padukone was threated by agitators. Her Padmavati avatar was not appreciated by the Rajput community. According to them, she is “Naachnewali” (courtesan) and “Bazaaru” (prostitute). Besides, she received threats that they will chop her nose off like Shurpanakha ( a villain in Ramayana).
However, these threats didn’t affect Deepika and she calmly said that she has faith in the judicial system and believes that no wrong will happen to her. The threats reached a new level on Sunday when a BJP leader from Haryana announced that he will offer Rs. 10 crores to anyone who will behead Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
The members of the BJP party have expressed their concern over the release of the film. The party wrote to the Election Commission and the CBFC to temporarily ban the release of the film as they distort the historical facts. Further, as the Gujarat assembly elections are about to start, BJP is seeking an opportunity to gain votes of Hindu and Rajput community by banning the film. First the film was banned in Madhya Pradesh then in Gujarat and interestingly both are the states which are under the rule of BJP.
5. Prasoon Joshi:
Film’s release was due December 1 which has been pushed but the decision regarding the release date or release at all is left in the hands of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Prashoon Joshi chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has said that the board needs space and time to come up with a neutral and a balanced decision. Amongst constant threat letters to Deepika and Bhansali a letter has been sent to Joshi as well by a Chittorgarh MP stating that the film should not be released hitherto the controversial scenes are omitted completely.