Padmavati is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.
Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to
ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen
Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And,
the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.
Producers of a
Bollywood period epic have indefinitely delayed its release following countrywide protests by Hindu right-wing and caste groups.
The epic in Awadhi language extols the virtue of Padmavati who committed sati, the practice of a widow immolating
herself on her husband's funeral pyre, to protect her honour from the invading Muslim emperor Khilji who had killed her husband, the Rajput king, in a battle.
Sati is believed to have originated some 700 years ago among the ruling class or Rajputs
in India. The Rajput women burnt themselves after their men were defeated in battles to avoid being taken by the victors. But it came to be seen as a measure of wifely devotion in later years. The custom was outlawed by India's British rulers in 1829
following demands by Indian reformers.
Historians point out that Jayasi's epic ballad about a Muslim emperor attacking a kingdom smitten by the beauty of a Hindu queen was written in the 16th Century, more than 200 years after the historical
record of the invasion. They say the folklore around Padmavati have also been problematic as they have glorified sati.
Rumours of a scene in the film of the Muslim king dreaming of getting romantic with the Hindu queen enraged many like the Rajput
Karnik Sena, a fringe caste group, who have called for the film to be banned. Director Bhansali has said the film does not feature such dream sequence at all .
Last week, the group, which had disrupted the shooting and slapped Bhansali on the set
of the film earlier this year, vandalised cinemas , and threatened to chop off Padukone's nose, referring to a story in the epic Ramayana where a character has her nose chopped off as punishment.
Rajput community members have burnt effigies of
Bhansali and sought a ban of the film. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has said it should not be released until necessary changes are made so that sentiments of any community are not hurt.
A regional leader of the BJP at the weekend
announced a reward of nearly $1.5m for anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone .
Update: BBFC Rating
23rd November 2017. See article from bbfc.co.uk
The BBFC has published its rating for the British cinema release of Padmavati. The film is rated 12A
uncut for moderate violence, injury detail.
Update: Former Indian film censor claims that the BBFC is acting illegally in passing the film for UK release
24th November 2017 See
article from timesnownews.com
Former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani has claimed that the BBFC decision of certifying the movie Padmavati is illegal.
In an interview with ANI, Nihalani said that for a film to get certification overseas, it's
a must that it is passed by the Indian Censor Board. If they've got a thumbs up from Britain without even sending the film, it's against the law.
He added that the BBC has no control over the release of an Indian film. If the film is released
outside India, it will eventually be pirated to India, he said.
Meanwhile, a petition seeking orders to the makers to not release the film outside India on December 1, has been filed in the Supreme Court.
Back home, Padmavati has been
postponed for an indefinite period of time owing to the furious protests against it by the fringe groups - Rajasthan-based Rajput Karni Sena in particular. The groups are protesting an alleged romantic sequence between Padmavati (based on the legend of
Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh) and Mughal Emperor Alauddin Khilji. Some fanatic groups are also incensed with the fact that Rani Padmavati has been shown dancing in the film asserting that Rajput maharanis never danced in front of anyone.
Update: Violent Indian nationalists call for British cinemas to be burnt down
24th November 2017 See
article from independent.co.uk
British cinemas that screen a controversial new Bollywood blockbuster should be burned down, the leader of a hardline Hindu nationalist group has claimed.
Members of the Rajput Karni Sena, a group associated with the warrior Rajput caste, claim it
misrepresents history by depicting a love affair between the queen and a Muslim invader. The group is further upset that the queen's midriff is exposed in a song sequence.
Now the leader of Rajput Karni Sena, Sukhdev Singh has called for action to
be taken in the UK. He told Republic TV:
I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. I have told them any cinema hall which screens the movie
will be burnt.
Update: Safety of Paramount concern
28th November 2017 See
article from theguardian.com
British film distributors are reconsidering the release of Padmavati. In the face of the ongoing controversy, the British distributor, Paramount Pictures, said the UK release date was being reviewed, amid reports that producers wanted to clarify the
situation in India before making a decision abroad. It had been due to come out from 1 December.
A London-based Hindu campaign group, Rajput Samaj of UK, declared its opposition to the BBFC's decision to certify the film for release and said it
would hold a peaceful protest over what it sees as a historically inaccurate account of Padmini. It told the Guardian that it did not want the film to be released but claimed that it was opposed to any violence.
The call from the charity for the
film to lose its certification comes after a fringe rightwing group in India threatened violence if UK cinemas showed the film.
The Indian supreme court had agreed to hear a petition next week asking that the film's UK release be banned. Lawyers
said it was unlikely the court could prevent an overseas debut, though the film's producers have already said they would await the Indian censor's approval before distributing the movie worldwide.
Update: UK Courts
28th November 2017 See article from theguardian.com
group is also attempting to get the UK release banned. The Rajasthan Association asked the BBFC about censoring the film, but the BBFC commendably responded that freedom of choice must be respected and that filmmakers are free to explore narratives based
on historical events and to interpret them as they wish.
The Rajasthan Association was now mulling the option of approaching UK court in connection with the matter.