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JAIPUR: Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje waded into the controversy over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” on Saturday, asking Union information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani that the movie not be released without making the necessary changes as demanded by the “aggrieved community”. She’s the first CM to come out openly against the film.
The Rajput community has been demanding that the film be banned, claiming that it is a distortion of history and portrays Rani Padmini in a poor light. Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS), which has been spearheading protests against the film, has warned that it will not allow the film to be released. SRKS chief Mahipal Singh Makrana even threatened to maim the lead actor, Deepika Padukone, if she “continues to provoke protesters”.
Several BJP functionaries, including Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari, have expressed reservations about “Padmavati”, saying “filmmakers should not distort historical facts”. However, Raje is the first CM to back the Rajput community in its demands. A statement released by the CM’s office said Raje told the I&B minister that the censor board should consider all possible consequences before giving a certificate to the film. In the letter to Irani, the CM said that it should be ensured that the film does not hurt the sentiments of the Rajput community.
“She has suggested constituting a committee, which includes expert historians, film personalities and representatives from the (Rajput) community. It should sit and discuss the screenplay of the film. Thereafter, suitable changes should be made to ensure that the film does not hurt the sentiments of the society as a whole,” the statement from the CMO said.
Raje has further stated that while the filmmakers do have the right to make a film as per their wisdom, the Constitution also has provisions to curb a right if it poses a threat to the law and order situation or hurts the morality or public sentiments of a community. “Hence, there is a need to review the film,” the CMO statement quoted Raje as having said.
While most of her ministers had already spoken in favour of reviewing the film before it is released, this is the first time that the Rajasthan CM has taken a stand over the controversy. A delegation from Mewar, which met the chief minister on Saturday, thanked her for the gesture.