Protests intensify against Padmavati, Rajput body calls for Bharat bandh on Dec 1

Protests intensify against Padmavati, Rajput body calls for Bharat bandh on Dec 1

Protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmavati intensified on Wednesday with several Rajput organisations holding demonstrations in different parts of the country threatening violence if the film is released on December 1.

The Shri Rajput Karni Sena in Rajasthan called for a  Bharat  bandh on December 1 to block the release of the film, which has been mired in controversy, triggering   protests and violence since the time the film was being shot at various locations.

Amid the raging protests, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday provided security cover for Bhansali.

The Rajasthan government has decided to form a high-powered committee to view Padmavati even as the Karni Sena called for a Bharat bandh on December 1, the scheduled date of release of the film.

If the film contains scenes that hurt public sentiment as alleged, the panel would ask the filmmaker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, to remove those scenes before release.

The Rajasthan Women's Commission shot off a letter to   Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi, asking him to watch the film and clear "the confusion in the minds of those protesting against it."

Commission  chief Suman Sharma also urged Joshi to ensure that the film does not dent the image of women  and apprise the Commission at the earliest.

Sharma noted that protests are being held against the   release of the film in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and other states as people believe that   "historical facts" were distorted in the movie.

"We will hold rallies across the country, including Gurugram, Patna, Lucknow and Bhopal before the release date," Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder-patron of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena told mediapersons in Rajasthan.

He demanded a ban on the film and also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene even as several prominent actors, directors and filmmakers extended their support to Bhansali.

"Jawhar ki jwala hai; bahut kutch jalega; rok sako to rok lo (It's flame of sacrifice; many things will burn; stop if you can," Kalvi said, giving a call for Bharat bandh on December 1.

Arrests post violence

On Tuesday,  five Karni Sena members were arrested for vandalising a multiplex in Kota, Rajasthan, where the trailer of Padmavati was to be screened.

Other than Rajput community, social groups representing Brahmins, Vaishyas, OBCS and Muslims had joined the protest.

On Wednesday, protests were held outside Jaipur's famous, old cinema hall Raj Mandir. Protestors burnt posters of the film as well as effigies of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.  

Members of the Karni Sena had attacked Bhansali earlier in January this year during shooting of the film in Jaipur.

The film kicked up a massive row after it was alleged that there was a dream sequence of Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji.

Citing the Ghoomar dance, which features Deepika Padukone, Kalvi said, "History has witnessed that none of the Rajput maharanis has ever danced in front of anyone; they cannot play with history."

Deepika reacts

"It's absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed," Deepika Padukone said on Tuesday.

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said eight people have been arrested for creating unrest in connection with Padmavati row.  

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