The Supreme Court on Friday refused a plea seeking to ban the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial “Padmavati” epic drama featuring Deepika Padukone as a Rajput queen and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khalji.
The Apex court said it could not intervene since the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was yet to decide about its certification.
The film, which also stars Shahid Kapoor as Rawal Ratan Singh, is set for release on December 1.
The movie has been a subject of many controversies. Some Hindu groups and political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, claim that the film distorts history and wrongly portrays Padmavati, a contention Bhansali has rebuffed.
Earlier, Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali had rubbished rumours and reports of a romantic dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and the invader Allauddin Khilji in his forthcoming movie Padmavati.
“There is no interaction whatsoever between the characters played by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh,” Bhansali said.
The former royal family of Jaipur had also opposed release of the film “if historical facts are distorted”.
Former princess, Diya Kumari, a BJP MLA, in a statement had said that no film should hurt the sentiments of a community by “twisting historical facts”.
A legislator of BJP from Hyderabad had threatened to burn down theatres in Telangana if they screen Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati”, which is slated for release next month.
T Raja Singh, a member of Telangana assembly, had called upon people to boycott the movie, saying as an attempt is being made to denigrate Rajput community. The MLA had even announced that he will bail out youth if they are arrested for setting afire the theatres.
Keeping sentiments of Rajput groups in mind, the BJP said that they preview the movie as as many fringe groups have threatened to disrupt its screening for “manipulating historical facts”.
Earlier, BJP demanded the film either to be banned or postponed, as it is releasing ahead of the Gujarat elections, which will be held on December 9 and December 14.
Congress had also joined the BJP’s narrative on banning the movie, the party said if there is actually “distortion of history” in the movie then it should not be released at all.
Senior Congress leader and national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil had said, that just postponing the release will not assuage the feelings of a community. We demand that if there has been distortion of history as claimed, the movie should not be released at all.
The film, which is based on the historical era of the 1300s, has grabbed the attention of many political parties for its content. Padmavati narrates the story of Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. The protesters had urged the Election Commission (EC) to ban the film in Gujarat or shift the release date of the film post the elections.
Earlier, Jai Rajputana along with Karni Sena workers had vandalised the film’s set in Jaipur and even attacked the crew. They have also asked for a pre-release of the film or they would burn the cinema houses and multiplexes!
In Gujarat, a group of protesters had stormed into a mall in Surat in mid-October and destroyed a rangoli of actress Deepika Padukone’s ‘Padmavati’ poster drawn by a local artist.
The Bhansali movie has Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.
(With agency inputs)