Amid growing controversy over Padmavati, Shri Rajput Karni Sena’s Rajasthan chief Mahipal Singh Makrana has made a sensational revelation. According to Mahipal Singh Makrana, he received a call from a Pakistani number threatening to kill Lokendra Singh Kalvi, the chief of Karni Sena. “The call from Pakistani number threatened to kill Kalvi with a bomb,” Makrana said. “He asked me to stop the protest against Padmavati,” Makrana added. Mahipal Singh Makrana said he had received the call from a Karachi-based person reminding him of 1993 bomb blast.
“We have been saying that the film has been funded by terror outfits. It should be investigated by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI,” Makrana alleged. The Karni Sena had alleged distortion of historical facts in the period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. Deepika, who plays the titular role in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film, has received threats from Rajput Karni Sena with one of its leaders warning her against inciting sentiments.
Earlier, the Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha had held a blood signature campaign and the Shri Rajput Karni Sena had threatened to chop off Padukone’s nose. In March, Chittorgarh Fort was vandalised by a group of men who broke mirrors installed at the Padmini Palace of the Rajput queen. Three mirrors installed at the palace were damaged by four-five unidentified men.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Rajasthan was rocked by fresh protests against period drama Padmavati with protestors blocking entry to the Chittor Fort and burning effigies of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali even as more political leaders joined the chorus against the movie’s release. Members of the Sarv Samaj Sanghthan, including Shri Rajput Karni Sena, picketed at the entrance of the fort, a UNESCO world heritage site which houses Padmini’s Palace, demanding a ban on the controversial film. Shri Rajput Karni Sena president Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi said in Bengaluru that if the film was not banned, the organisation would intensify its agitation across the country. Authorities decided not to make the scheduled halt of the luxury train ‘Palace on Wheels’ at Chittorgarh and instead continued its journey to Udaipur due to the protests.
Member of Parliament C P Joshi met the protestors and assured that their sentiments would be conveyed to the people concerned, Chittorgarh District Collector Indrajeet Singh said. He said the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation decided not to stop the Palace on Wheels train at Chittorgarh in order to avoid any inconvenience to passengers. Chittorgarh SP Prashan Kumar Khamsera said the fort was not officially closed. “We were informed by the protesters that entry to the fort will be blocked for tourists. Ample security arrangements were made to deal with the situation. It was a peaceful and symbolic protest,” he said.
Member of the Sarv Samaj Sangathan and chief of the Jauhar Samriti Sansthan, Ummed Singh, said, “A dharna demanding a ban on Padmavati is continuing for the last eight days at Padan Pole. The Chittor Fort remained closed for tourists on Friday.”
The Sarv Samaj Sangathan and some other outfits are opposing a song in the film which shows actor Deepika Padukone, who plays the role of Queen Padmini, dancing in a courtyard and claimed it crossed dramatic license. In Jaipur, the members of Sarv Samaj, support of the Rajput community, demonstrated outside a multiplex in Vaishali Nagar, where the movie was scheduled to be screened, and also burnt Bhansali’s effigy.
In Bikaner, Bajrang Dal activists burnt Bhansali’s effigy outside the district collectorate. A rally was taken out from Tulsi circle to collectorate and a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was submitted against the proposed release of the film.
In Sikar district, effigies were burnt in Fatehpur and Lakshmangarh, with protestors alleging that history was being distorted in the film.
In Alwar, former minister Jitendra Singh demanded that the central government set up a committee of prominent historians to decide the film’s fate.
Rajasthan Forest and Environment Minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar said he had not seen the clipping which hurt the sentiments of the Rajput community but there must be some reason that the people were disappointed and angry. “It is not right that filmmakers dramatise history for their profit without considering sentiments of any community,” Khimsar said.