Want complete ban on ‘Padmavati’, will vandalise theatres, warns Karni Sena

Jaipur, Dec 30 (IANS) Unimpressed by the Censor Board’s decision to seek modifications and change the name to “Padmavat”, the Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena on Saturday demanded a complete ban on the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film and threatened to vandalise theatres screening it.

“We will station our people outside cinema theatres and each hall showing the film will be vandalised,” declared Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, president Shree Rajput Karni Sena, at a press conference here.

He said that despite objections from the review committee members, the Censor Board had taken the decision to screen the film “because of underworld pressure”.

“If there is any loss of property following the release of the film, the government would be responsible,” he warned.

The Karni Sena’s stand comes as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decided to give a U/A certificate “along with some modifications” to “Padmavati” and has asked the filmmaker to “likely” change the movie’s title to “Padmavat”.

“If the government really wants to change the name of the film, let it name the movie as ‘Gaddar Allaudin Khilji’ and all scenes related to Padmavati should be removed from it,” Yogendra Singh Katar, Vice President, Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena, told IANS.

“We will not allow the film to be released in any case,” he said, adding, “If it is released, we will follow the principle of Rajputs to sacrifice our lives for the sake of our honour.”

A review committee was formed recently with six members. The CBFC has included Sriji Arvind Singh Mewar as one of its members. However, Karni Sena members claim that the real family members of Queen Padmavati of Chittor were Mahendra Singh Mewar, and have demanded that he or his son Vishvaraj Singh Mewar should be members of the committee.

“Let the committee members include Mahendra Singh Mewar and let him decide what he has to say. Even if he agrees for the release of the film, we will demand naming of the film as ‘Gaddar Aladdin Khilji’,” Katar told IANS.

Bhanwar Uday Singh Bhati, Alwar city president and a member of the same association, also demanded a ban on the film. “The way Bhansali is taking up the issue, it seems, is all for promotion of the movie,” Bhati told IANS.

He added that Rajputs have been “disciplined” in staging peaceful protests over the years and “hence our patience should not be tested”.

Asked what he had to say to the CBFC decision of releasing the film with suggested cuts and a name change, Bhati said “We just don’t want the film to be screened anywhere”.

“How can they show the queen dancing with other women without ghoonghat. This has never been our culture,” he said, adding “Even today, our women go out in ghoonghat (veils).”

“Rajputs have contributed a lot to this nation. However, the movie always shows them in poor light and never shows their story of valour, which is a shame. We expect a lot from our Rajput leaders who should come forward and help us in getting this movie banned. We don’t want vote bank politics on the film,” he said.

Katar added: “We will not allow the film to be released at any cost. We have strong backing of all Hindu Associations from across the country who just don’t want this movie to be released at all.”

“Padmavati”, which was earlier slated for release on December 1, got embroiled in controversy after the Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, urged a nationwide ban on the film claiming that it “distorts historical facts”. Members of the political organisation also physically assaulted Bhansali during the film’s shooting in Jaipur earlier this year. They even burnt the sets of the movie on the outskirts of Mumbai.

The row took an ugly turn when threats were issued against Bhansali and Deepika.