Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati is in the eye of the storm. From fringe political groups to royals, it seems like everyone is pitching hard for a ban on the movie. Padmavati is a fictional film about the fictional tale of a Rajput princess written by 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhamad Jayasi. Several political leaders have accused producers Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions of distorting history and “dishonouring” Rani Padmini. Many have alleged that the movie has hurt the sentiments of the Rajput community and that it is glorifying the invader Alauddin Khilji. The film, which stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji, stoked controversy with rumours suggesting a romantic dream sequence between the two characters. Bansali has however dismissed these rumours.
Amid all this controversy, Ajmer Dargah Diwan, Zainal Abedin Ali Khan has also come out against the movie Padmavati. He said Bhansali has taken advantage of his freedom of speech and that the movie should be banned as it has hurt the religious sentiments. He even compared Bhansali with controversial writers Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen.
Abedin also said The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) should allow the movie to be screened in theatres only after verifying that the historical facts that are shown in the movie might not adversely affect the law and order. However, the CBFC is yet to certify the movie and said all the protests are on speculation.
During the shooting of the film at Jaipur’s Jaigarh Fort, Bhansali was attacked and the film’s sets vandalised. He had then released a video where he claimed there was nothing objectionable in the film.
Shri Rajput Karni Sena has called for a nationwide bandh on December 1 against the release of the film. VHP, Bajarang Dal and Hindu Janajagruti Sena are also protesting against release of the movie.
According to some literature, Khilji’s request to see the queen was turned down as Rajput culture forbade women from meeting strangers. Khilji then waged a war against Chittor and marched his way inside the fort to look for Padmavati. However, Padmavati and several other women had by then ended her life in jauhar (self-immolation) to get away from Khilji.