The makers of Padmaavat can finally let out a sigh of relief as Supreme Court lifts the ban on film’s screening in the six Indian states. Earlier, six states including Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat banned the release of Padmaavat (Earlier Padmavati) in their states. Following this the filmmakers moved SC, which in turn gave the green signal to the movie, confirming its release on January 25. But Padmavati’s journey to Padmaavat and January release has been a troublesome one. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the entire star cast including Deepika Padukone dealt the verbal blows of fringe group Shri Rajput Karni Sena. The troubles started when the shooting began itself. Let’s have a look at the struggles of Padmaavat that pushed the film to a month later release.
Here’s the entire timeline of the controversy
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Trouble began when a worker on the sets of Padmaavat fell to his death while shooting. The shooting had to be halted after the mishap.
Film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was physically assaulted by the members of Karni Sena, who later staged a protest at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur, where Bhansali was shooting for Padmaavat (then Padmaavat). The video of protesters vandalising the sets and camera went viral on internet.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali shifted Padmaavat sets to Kolhapur facing protests in Rajasthan. Even in Maharashtra, the film sets was attacked with petrol bombs and swords. Bhansali posted an open letter on social media, clarifying his stand to Rajput fringe groups that there is no romantic sequence between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji.
April 2017 to August 2017
Film industry came out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and freedom of expression. It started a widespread debate on social media.
The first look of the film was released showing Deepika Padukone in regal red dress in traditional Rajasthani jewellery. It also served as a bait to the protesters.
A Surat-based artist named Karan made an intricate Rangoli featuring Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati. Some miscreants entered the venue and destroyed the Rangoli, which took the artist his precious 48 hours in making. Deepika Padukone took to Twitter to condemn the attack.
Rajput Karni Sena accused the actress Deepika Padukone and makers of Padmaavat of distorting historical facts. The protests were staged with Chittorgarh, Rajasthan as its centre. Schools and colleges were shut down.
The fringe group also demanded a complete ban on the film for maligning the image of Rajput Queen.
The Supreme Court sacked the plea asking a ban on release of Padmaavat. The court rested the decision in the hands of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to consider everything before certifying the film.
Rajasthan Home Minister Gulan Chand Kataria made a panel to watch the film before it was released.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij announced that the state government will seek help from CBFC to ban the film. He also said that he will not allow the film to release in Haryana.
A bandh was organised on December 1 by Shri Rajput Karni Sena. December 1 was the scheduled release date of Deepika Padukone’s Padmaavat.
Karni Sena member Mahipal Singh Makrana told ANI, “Rajput Karni Sena is fighting to protect the image of women being portrayed in the films. We never raise a hand on women but if need be, we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Shurpanakha for violating the rules and culture of India.”
Protests against Padmaavat started in many states including Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP, Bihar and Karnataka.
CBFC returned the application for certification of Padmaavat, after which the makers delayed the release of their film. The next release date was not announced.
Censor Board took Mewar royal family to join a panel to help certifying Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film. Also, the opinion of two veteran historians from Jaipur was also sought, inviting them to watch the film. These historians included Professor BL Gupta and Prof RS Khangarot.
The committee zeroed on five modifications and also suggested the makers to change the title of the film.
The filmmakers declared the new date of Padmaavat release. It was the same day when Akshay Kumar’s film on menstrual hygiene Padman is set to release.
The makers issued full-fledged disclaimer that Padmaavat doesn’t contain any objectionable scenes between Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. The ban still remained on the film in Rajasthan, Gujarat and MP. The film’s title changed to Padmavat and then Padmaavat.
Later, the filmmakers moved the Supreme Court against the ban on the film in six Indian states. The SC stayed the ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, ensuring a countrywide release on January 25. It also restrained other states from issuing such diktats.