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Padmavati row: No cuts, only 5 modifications, says Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi said giving the movie U/A certification "was an unprecedented and tough situation.

Edited by: India TV Entertainment Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: December 30, 2017 22:31 IST ]
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmavati

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has not suggested any cuts in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati, but has asked for five modifications for the movie to get a U/A certificate, censor board chairperson Prasoon Joshi clarified on Saturday.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to give a U/A certificate "along with some modifications" to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial film Padmavati. The new title of the film will now be Padmavat as CBFC has asked the filmmaker to "likely" change the movie's title. However, the suggestions have been slammed by a Mewar royal and some members of the film industry.

Joshi said they have asked the makers to change the disclaimer "clearly to one that does not claim historical accuracy".

 

The makers of Padmavati, featuring Deepika Padukone as Rajput queen Padmavati, were also asked to give a few disclaimers -- one regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati and also relevant modifications in the song Ghoomar to "befit" the character portrayed, a CBFC statement said on Saturday.

On reports of modifications in the song Ghoomar, Joshi said, ''That apart, they have demanded modification in the "incorrect/misleading reference to historical places."

Joshi said these suggested changes "are completely in agreement with the filmmakers -- the producers and director of the film".

 

 

The decision was taken after an examining committee meeting was held on Thursday in the presence of CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi. The special panel consisted of Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr Chandramani Singh and Professor K.K. Singh of Jaipur University.

A long discussion ensued post which the filmmakers were met as well. The members of the panel had insights and also some reservations regarding the claimed historical events and socio-cultural aspects which were duly discussed at length," Joshi said.

As per CBFC, the film was approached with a "balanced view keeping in mind both the filmmakers and the society". The board asked for modifications and a name change, before giving the film the certification for being shown in theatres in India. Reports saying 26 cuts were ordered were denied by the CBFC.

Considering the complexities and concerns around the film, the requirement for a special panel was felt "to add perspective to the final decision of the official committee", the CBFC said.

Joshi said the filmmakers, Bhansali Productions, "in a written communication to CBFC had themselves too requested for a special panel of historians/academicians and members of the Rajput community to view the film".

Having a special panel was not a new precedent set by CBFC.

"(I) Can cite two examples; 'Aarkashan' wherein an eminent panel representing a concerned group was created and also in case of 'Jodhaa Akbar' wherein historical experts were called in."

Overall, Joshi said giving the movie U/A certification "was an unprecedented and tough situation".

"I am glad that following a balanced approach, we resolved the task at hand in a pragmatic and positive manner," he said.

Padmavati, which was earlier slated for release on December 1, got embroiled in controversy after the Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, urged a nationwide ban on the film claiming that it "distorts historical facts". Members of the political organisation also physically assaulted Bhansali during the film's shooting in Jaipur earlier this year. They even burnt the sets of the movie on the outskirts of Mumbai. 

Despite the go-ahead by the CBFC, the Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena on Saturday demanded a complete ban on the film and said they will vandalise the theatres which show the film.

Earlier on November 30, Bhansali appeared before a Parliamentary committee and said: "All the controversy over the film is based on rumours. I have not distorted facts. The film is based on a poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi," referring to the 16th century Indian sufi poet's epic poem "Padmavat".

The certificate will be issued once the required modifications are carried out and final material submitted, the board said.

However, the suggestions from CBFC were slammed by a Mewar royal, who expressed his disappointment in a letter to Prasoon Joshi -- a copy of which is with IANS.

Maharajkumar Vishvaraj Singh, son of Mahendra Singh Mewar -- the 76th Maharana of the Mewar dynasty and a former Lok Sabha member -- said he was supposed to be a part of the committee on Thursday, but couldn't make it in the end, and the decision was taken by the Censor Board without his consent.

Popular Bollywood celebrities like Anubhav Sinha, Renuka Shahane and Apurva Asrani, among others, also slammed CBFC's decision on Twitter, where some people edited Deepika's photograph with her co-star Ranveer Singh, referring to the new title, Padmavat.

"So Bhansali can now actually throw a party. Just that whisky will be called 'whiska', vodka will be called 'vodki' and so on," Sinha tweeted.

Renuka wrote: "The 'I' of the storm has passed. CBFC changes the name of Padmavati to Padmavat and passes the film with a U/A certificate. Thereby, nobody will have any issue and nobody's sentiments will be hurt. Name changing is game changing I must say!"

Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia was "disgusted" by CBFC's decision.

"Disgusted by the open and blatant use of political muscle to screw filmmakers during elections. Now that Gujarat and Himachal are won, 'Padmavati' has got its U/A, it will be praised. Rajputs' heroism will be talked about by the same people who slammed it. Thank God we have not made a film called Gandhi! Can you imagine what title CBFC would suggest," he tweeted.

Asrani said: "If 'Pad Man' picks up the 'I' that 'Padmavat' drops, they'll have to call it 'Padmani'. From the frying pan into the pyre."

Actor Rahul Dev tweeted: "'Padmavati' turns 'Padmavat', smart move, yet wonder why is the 'I' so large in our country? CBFC gives U/A certificate for the film."

(With IANS Inputs)

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