Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the makers of Padmaavat have approached the police for Special Task Force protection in city theatres, multiplexes
Deepika Padukone in Padmaavat
Even as the makers of Padmaavat have requested police protection in Mumbai and other places, Rani Mahendra Kanwar of Bassi, Chittorgarh, has said that Bhansali is fooling people and would have consulted the Maharana of Mewar if his intentions were honest.
With less than 48 hours to go before the paid previews of Padmaavat on January 24, the protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s drama only seem to be getting more intense. A day after 200 Rajput women held a protest march in Rajasthan, Rani Mahendra Kanwar of Bassi, Chittorgarh (vice-president, Jauhar Smriti Sansthan) told mid-day that distributors have assured her that the film won’t be screened in the state.
Rani Mahendra Kanwar
“The distributors have promised us they won’t showcase the film. They, too, do not support Padmaavat in any way,” said Kanwar, pointing out how Rajput women have ratcheted up the pressure with memorandums to government officials to give them permission to end their lives, in the event of the film’s release. “We are holding peace protest march every day. But our women have threatened to commit suicide if the movie hits screens.”
The Supreme Court is slated to hear the pleas of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh today, seeking recall of its January 18 orders allowing the film to be screened across the nation. However, Kanwar said that the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor-starrer won’t find a place in Rajasthan. “We respect the law, but can’t have anyone dishonouring our community.” When pointed out that the makers had made the necessary modifications recommended by the Censor Board, she said, “Bhansali is saying that it’s a work of fiction. Then why has he named his characters Alauddin Khilji and Rawal Ratan Singh? Bhansali is fooling people. If he had honest intentions, he would’ve sought permission from the Maharana of Mewar, Arvind Singhji.”
A distributor based out of Rajasthan, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that his peers have indeed decided to wash their hands off the film. “Many fringe groups are protesting against it; we don’t want to burn our fingers by going against them. It’s better to earn less than to incur damages,” he said. While protests continued in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh yesterday, Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi agreed to watch the magnum opus on Bhansali’s invitation before its release.
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