Parliamentary panel upset at pre-censor screening of Padmavati

Parliamentary panel upset at pre-censor screening of Padmavati

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting is understood to  have taken strong exception to the screening of controversial film 'Padmavati' to a select audience before its   certification by the censor board.

Members of the  panel are  learnt to have told the film's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali that the screening amounted to putting pressure on the censor board, which is yet to view the film.

Bhansali and Central Board for Film Certification chairman Prasoon Joshi appeared before the panel on Thursday to discuss the problems and challenges faced by the film industry.

Bhansali is understood to have told the Committee that he had not distorted history in the film  based on epic poem 'Padmavat' penned by Malik Mohammad Jayasi, a 15th century sufi poet.

"How can you claim that you have not distorted history when the name of the character is the same and you also call the film 'Padmavati'," asked a member of the Committee on IT and I&B.

Sources said Joshi told the Committee that he had appointed a panel of experts to examine the film and provide inputs to the CBFC.

Sources  said some panel members were unhappy that Bhansali had not taken adequate precaution while making the movie  after the protests when shooting began one-and-a-half-years back.

Bhansali pleaded that it was not his intention to hurt the sentiments of the people. The protests against the film were based on "rumours".

Producers criticised

The Committee was also critical about the producers submitting the movie to the censor board on November 11 and announcing its release on December 1 despite being aware of its controversial subject.

"How can you anticipate that the censor board will clear such a controversial film within three weeks," a member asked.

Rajput groups have claimed that the movie was an insult to 13th century queen Padmini as it portrayed a romantic relationship between her and Alauddin Khilji, the 14th century ruler of Delhi.

Earlier, Joshi appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions, chaired by BJP member Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. It was examining complaints filed by BJP members Om Birla and C P Joshi from Rajasthan about objectionable content in the film.

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