The Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the decks for the all-India release of the movie.
New Delhi: A day after Narendra Modi’s home state joined three other BJP-ruled states in banning Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial movie ‘Padmaavat’, the prime minister and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed a cultural show in Ahmedabad where school students performed one of the songs from the movie.
— Kirandeep (@raydeep) January 17, 2018
This comes close on the heels of Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh urging people to report those playing the songs of the banned movie in the state. “MP government banned Padmaavat, people shouldn’t even play songs of it. If someone plays a banned song, it must be reported to police & not take matter in your own hands. Action to be taken against culprits,” he said according to news agency ANI.
On January 15, a school student was injured after some members of the Karni Sena ransacked a school after hearing the ‘Ghoomar’ song being played during its annual day event. Eyewitnesses told NDTV that the activists pushed children, misbehaved with parents, teachers and even threatened the school administration. They also damaged chairs, stage and the music system.
The fringe group also took out a rally in Rajasthan recently to demand a countrywide ban on the movie, which is scheduled for release on January 25. They have threatened mass immolation if the film is not banned.
According to a Karni Sena member, over 1500 women have registered their names, addresses and consent letters from their families with the Jauhar Samiti in Chittorgarh.
“If the film’s screening is not stopped, they will perform jauhar (mass immolation). The men will go to cinema halls with swords to stop its screening,” he told IANS.
However, the Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the decks for the all-India release of the movie and stayed notifications and orders issued by Rajasthan and Gujarat prohibiting exhibition of the film in their states. The court also restrained any other state from issuing such notifications and orders prohibiting exhibition of the movie.
Soon after the court’s order, Rajput leader Suraj Pal Amu, who offered a Rs 10-crore bounty for beheading actor Deepika Padukone and Bhansali, claimed that the country will be “torn apart” if the film is released.
Aaj Supreme Court ne lakhon-crore logon, lakhon-crore Hinduon ki bhavnaon ko thes pahuchai hai, jo SC ka samman karte hain. Hamara sangharsh jaare rahega chaahe mujhe faansi laga do! Ye film release hogi toh desh tootega: Suraj Pal Amu pic.twitter.com/smAb63kjbj
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2018
“The Supreme Court has hurt the sentiments of the lakhs of Hindus who respect it. Our protest will continue even if I am hanged to death,” he told ANI. Amu was forced to resign as chief media coordinator of the BJP‘s state unit in November 2017 after the party issued a show-cause notice following his bounty announcement.
Meanwhile, the Karni Sena chief urged people to not allow the release of the movie.
Poore desh ke saamajik sangathanon se appeal karoonga #Padmaavat nahi chalni chahiye. Film hall par janta curfew laga de: Lokendra Singh Kalvi, Rajput Karni Sena Chief in Ujjain #MadhyaPradesh pic.twitter.com/kxIYAE38EV
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2018
On January 13, the Mumbai Police arrested 132 Karni Sena members for protesting outside the censor board office.
The film is based on the saga of the historic battle of the 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.
The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur, while its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was roughed up by members of the Karni Sena last year.
(With inputs from agencies)