Padmavati to release in January? Take a look back at all major controversies that sparked nationwide debate

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New Delhi | December 30, 2017 4:58 PM

The first incident recorded about Padmavati was recorded in January 2017. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and had his hair pulled by the protesters of Rajput group, Karni Sena in Jaipur.

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Padmavati Release: Padmavati is now Padmavat! The big verdict that came out today was the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) gave the movie green signal. Although, the release date for the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed movie is yet to be finalised, however, the movie has received U/A certificate from the board. The movie’s name has been changed to Padmavat by the board. The release date of the movie was hanging in the hands of CBFC while now, however, today CBFC made its mind clear. The CBFC conducted a meeting on December 28 to decide upon the future of Padmavati. The meeting was chaired by CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi and had a special panel of historians. The special panel saw Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr Chandramani Singh and Prof KK Singh of Jaipur University. CBFC in a statement said, “Panel member had insights & also some reservations regarding claimed historical events & socio-cultural aspects which were duly discussed at length.” The movie, which is still yet to see the day of light has been marred by controversies ever since its announcement. From bounty on Deepika Padukone’s head to death threats to creating a ruckus while shooting, the movie has seen so many controversies that there can be a movie made on the controversy surrounding the movie. Take a look back at the movie’s tryst with troubles:

* Reacting on the incident, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on November 21 said, “‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is no less guilty than those issuing threats to actors involved in the film.” Yogi Adityanath added, “If those who have threatened are guilty, then Sanjay Leela Bhansali is equally responsible for hurting sentiments of people of a community.”

* Way back in January 2017, during the shooting of the movie in Jaipur, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and had his hair pulled by the protesters of Rajput group, Karni Sena. The protesters at that time alleged that there was a lovemaking scene between Queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji in the film.

* There have been many celebrities who have come out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Actor Prakash Raj wrote a Twitter post in which addressed a wide range of activities ranging from Padmavati controversy to Nude and S Durga and how people in the country are being treated. Even Kamal Haasan on Twitter wrote in support of the director. He wrote, “I want Deepika’s head.. saved. Respect is more than her body. Even more her freedom. Do not deny her that. Many communities have opposed my films. Extremism in any debate is deplorable. Wake up cerebral India. Time to think. We’ve said enough. Listen to Ma Bharat.” Newly crowned Miss World 2017, Manushi Chhillar to director Shyam Benegal gave thumbs-up to Padmavati. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called the controversy absurd.

* In a bizarre and violent turn of events on November 17, protestors blocked the entry to Chittorgarh Fort where the shooting took place. The Chittorgarh Fort is known as Padmini Palace. Some protesters even fired gunshots.

* The bizarre list of events continued with Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu saying that he would not allow anyone to watch “Padmavati”, claiming that the heroic character of ‘Rani Padmavati’ has been shown in a bad light in the period drama. The Gurgaon Police later booked the Haryana BJP leader for announcing Rs 10 crore reward to anyone beheading Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika Padukone. Another bounty worth Rs 50 Lakh was issued by a group of protesters from Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal. Another threat was made from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut by a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Yuva Mahasabha. He announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of Bhansali and Padukone.

* Adding fuel to the fire, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal has demanded a ban on the screening of the controversy-ridden film “Padmavati” in the state. Rawal has also written a letter to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) demanding that the movie is shown to a committee of expert historians for scrutiny.

* In another shocking incident, a body of a 40-year-old man was found hanging from the ramparts of Nahargarh Fort on November 25 with some messages referring to the protests over Padmavati scribbled on the stones inside the fort. The man was later identified as Chetan Saini who lived near the Nahargarh Fort. On a piece of stone, the message read, “Padmavati ka virodh karne walon, hum kille par sirf putle nahi latkate… hum mein hai dum (Those opposing Padmavati, we don’t just hang effigies from forts… we have courage).”

* What came as support for the movie was Supreme Court’s constant denial to ban Padmavati. The apex court said, “those holding public offices should not comment on such issues,” commenting on the views of CMs of various states on the movie.

* Supporting the movie, Maharashtra Minister of State for Home, Ranjit Patil said that he will provide security to the theatres if the movie is released.

*A spokesperson of Viacom18 Motion Pictures on November 20 said that the organisation had decided not to release the movie. They said that the decision has been taken “voluntarily” to defer the film’s release.

Movies with U/A certificate can have the unrestricted public exhibition, however, they are subject to parental guidance for children below the age of twelve.

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