Bollywood celebrities say their faith in Indian judiciary has been restored after the Supreme Court today allowed the country-wide release of controversial movie Padmaavat on January 25. The apex court stayed notifications and orders issued by Rajasthan and Gujarat prohibiting exhibition of the lavishly- mounted period drama in their states.
Fraternity members such as actors Ayushmann Khurrana, Rahul Dev and Prakash Raj, director Madhur Bhandarkar and author Chetan Bhagat took to social media to thank the court for its timely intervention.
Ayushmann touted SC's verdict as the "best news of the day".
"Best news of the day which restores faith in our democracy: Supreme Court suspends ban imposed by four states on Padmaavat', restrains other states from issuing similar orders," he wrote on Twitter.
Best news of the day which restores faith in our democracy : Supreme Court suspends ban imposed by 4 states on #Padmaavat, restrains other states from issuing similar orders.— Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) January 18, 2018
Bhandarkar congratulated the team of the film for the breakthrough. "I welcome the Honourable Supreme Court's decision of withdrawing the ban on 'Padmaavat'... Congrats to the entire team," he tweeted.
I Welcome The Honorable Supreme Court's decision of withdrawing the ban on #Padmavat..Congrats to the Entire team !! 🙏— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) January 18, 2018
Bhagat lauded the judgememt for protecting the freedom of expression. "SC states censor approved 'Padmaavat' can't be banned by states. Great decision. Every story can't be told how bullies want it. Artists, just as anyone else, have freedom to express in India. The states involved should respect decision and curb bullies," he wrote.
SC states censor approved #Padmaavat can't be banned by states. Great decision. Every story can't be told how bullies want it. Artists, just as anyone else, have freedom to express in India. The states involved should respect decision and curb bullies.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) January 18, 2018
Rahul criticised the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government for giving more importance to banning Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magum opus over rapes of minors in the state.
"Five rapes of minors in three days and crime perpetrators are still free! Reminds of Nirbhaya. While the BJP governed, Haryana CM is busy banning Padmaavat/vati. Thank God for the Supreme Court! ADGP said that 'Rapes part of society'. Khattar must punish policemen ruining state," the actor wrote. He also demanded Haryana CM's resignation with a hashtag, #KhattarStepDown.
Prakash Raj also reacted on the ban being lifted by the SC, saying the state governments "want to cater to a fringe group".
"This is a very straight attack on freedom. If you're talking about Rajput pride, I understand Rajasthan banning Padmaavat. Why are Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh banning it? "There is a Central Board of Film Certification, they went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said, "There is a
board, let them take a call. The censor says there's no problem with Padmaavat. So go watch the film in theatres," he said.
The actor was speaking at the India Today South Conclave 2018. The producers, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, had approached the top court challenging the notification and orders issued by four states -- Gujarat Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh -- prohibiting exhibition of the film.
The governments of Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had declared that they will not allow screening of the movie which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, despite censor clearance.
The movie is based on Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi's epic poem Padmavat.
(With PTI Inputs)