The film starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in the lead roles is said to be inspired by an epic poem, “Padmavat” but the director of the movie Bhansali has a different tale to tell. He says that he got inspiration for the movie and for Deepika’s role from 1966 film Amrapali. But the Rajput community group Karni Sena raised objections, without even watching the movie or reading the script of the movie, over depictions of Rani Padmini in the movie, claiming that history has been distorted.
“Padmavati” has been embroiled in controversies from inception:
1.Surat artist Karan K’s rangoli which featured Deepika Padukone in her character in Padmavati. It was after Deepika drew the attention of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on the incident that Surat police arrested five people for allegedly vandalising the rangoli. And now, it is the BJP which has asked to delay the release of the period film.
2.January 2017: The sets of the movie at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur were destroyed by the members of Karni Sena who staged an angry protest against the director of the movie Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Protesters entered in large numbers and started getting violent with Bhansali. Even as his team tried to shield him and take him to safety, the mob unleashed its fury on the defenceless director and slapped and assaulted him. Their next target was the costly film equipment which was smashed on the ground. The incident halted the shooting of the movie for days.
3. March 2017: Sets of Padmavati were vandalised in Kolhapur’s Masai plateau during the night and were set on fire hurting the animals which were present at the time of the incident. About 20 to 30 people reached the sets of the film armed with petrol bombs, stones and lathis. Before putting the set of the movie on fire, they torched the fodder kept for animals and even destroyed the costumes kept there. The attacks were being staged as certain fringe Rajput groups claimed that the film has a dream sequence where Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji will be seen in an intimate position. The claims were dismissed by the team of the movie.
4.September 2017: Deepika Padukone’s first look poster was released, Rajput Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, burnt posters of the movie in Jaipur and shouted slogans against Bhansali. Narain Singh Divrala, district president of the Rajput Karni Sena, told IANS, “We want him to show the film to the core committee of Shri Rajput Karni Sena and various organizations, including historians, before releasing it. Till then we will not allow the film to be released. If the Karni Sena core committee and historians don’t have any problems only then will we allow screening of the movie.”
5. October 2017: According to the reports, the Jai Rajputana Sangh said that they won’t tolerate any distortion of facts and if there will be any romantic relationship between Rani Padmavati and Allaudin Khilji, they will burn the cinema halls.
However, Smriti Irani has assured Bhansali that the movie will release without any trouble.
November 2017: After the protest by the Rajput Karni Sena to watch the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directoial before its actual release, now the BJP decided to write to the Election Commission, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Central government to temporarily hold the release of the film for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Kshatriya community. “We are writing to the ECI, CBFC and the Centre, seeking to stop the film’s release for a temporary period till the issue is resolved,” said BJP spokesperson IK Jadeja. He also added, “An attempt has been made to wrongly link the two characters (Padmavati and Khilji) of history.”
Jadeja, who informed the party had received several representations from the Kshatriya community about distortion of historical facts in the film, said: ‘EC should arrange for pre-release screening of the movie for select Kshatriya representatives to provide them a fair opportunity to prevent unnecessary tension ahead of Gujarat polls,’ adding that a representation has been made to the poll panel to not allow the release of the film before that.