Freedom of Expression

Gujarat Becomes Fourth BJP-Ruled State to Ban ‘Padmaavat’

The state government said the ban was necessary to maintain law and order.

Activists of different Hindu organisations display placards during a protest against the release of the film "Padmaavat" during a protest outside Delhi CM residence on Sunday. Credit: PTI

Activists of different Hindu organisations display placards during a protest against the release of the film Padmaavat during a protest outside Delhi chief minister’s residence on Sunday. Credit: PTI

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Sunday issued a notification banning the screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming period drama Padmaavat across the state, saying the step was necessary to maintain law and order.

Gujarat has become the fourth BJP-ruled state – after Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana – to have banned the release of the film. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath has not taken a definitive stand in favour of a ban.

Before the assembly polls in Gujarat in November last year, the state government had banned the movie, which was earlier titled Padmavati. While issuing the notification today, minister of state for home Pradipsinh Jadeja said the ban on the movie was necessary to maintain law and order. As per the notification, the ban was imposed according to the provisions of the Gujarat Cinemas (Regulation) Act of 2004.

“In exercise conferred by sub-section 1 of section 6 of the Act, government of Gujarat hereby imposes the ban on Hindi feature film Padmaavat… No cinema owners or distributors shall exhibit the said movie in any cinema/multiplex/video cinema/touring cinema within the jurisdiction of Gujarat,” the notification said. It added that the ban was imposed “in public interest and to maintain law and order situation in the state”.

While talking to reporters here, Jadeja said the act had a provision wherein the state can ban a movie if it has the potential to dilute the law and order situation and public order.

“We have learnt that the movie, originally named as Padmavati will be released with a new name Padmaavat. However, people across the country are against the movie, as they feel that history has been distorted. With this notification, the movie will be considered as a non-certified one and will not be screened in the state,” said Jadeja.

The notification was issued days after the Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani announced that the ban on the movie will continue despite the change of name.

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