Padmavati

 Indian movie causes trouble in India, Pakistan and the UK



 Updated: Overruling the BBFC...

The Indian film Padmavati has been delayed from release in India over religious and nationalist controversy. The BBFC passed the film 12A uncut for UK release but violent threat may prove to be a higher authority


Link Here 28th November 2017
Poster Padmavati 2017 Sanjay Leela Bhansali Padmavati is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. BBFC link IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

Producers of a Bollywood period epic have indefinitely delayed its release following countrywide protests by Hindu right-wing and caste groups.

The epic in Awadhi language extols the virtue of Padmavati who committed sati, the practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre, to protect her honour from the invading Muslim emperor Khilji who had killed her husband, the Rajput king, in a battle.

Sati is believed to have originated some 700 years ago among the ruling class or Rajputs in India. The Rajput women burnt themselves after their men were defeated in battles to avoid being taken by the victors. But it came to be seen as a measure of wifely devotion in later years. The custom was outlawed by India's British rulers in 1829 following demands by Indian reformers.

Historians point out that Jayasi's epic ballad about a Muslim emperor attacking a kingdom smitten by the beauty of a Hindu queen was written in the 16th Century, more than 200 years after the historical record of the invasion. They say the folklore around Padmavati have also been problematic as they have glorified sati.

Rumours of a scene in the film of the Muslim king dreaming of getting romantic with the Hindu queen enraged many like the Rajput Karnik Sena, a fringe caste group, who have called for the film to be banned. Director Bhansali has said the film does not feature such dream sequence at all .

Last week, the group, which had disrupted the shooting and slapped Bhansali on the set of the film earlier this year, vandalised cinemas , and threatened to chop off Padukone's nose, referring to a story in the epic Ramayana where a character has her nose chopped off as punishment.

Rajput community members have burnt effigies of Bhansali and sought a ban of the film. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has said it should not be released until necessary changes are made so that sentiments of any community are not hurt.

A regional leader of the BJP at the weekend announced a reward of nearly $1.5m for anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone .

Update: BBFC Rating

BBFC logo 23rd November 2017. See article from bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC has published its rating for the British cinema release of Padmavati. The film is rated 12A uncut for moderate violence, injury detail.

Update: Former Indian film censor claims that the BBFC is acting illegally in passing the film for UK release

24th November 2017 See article from timesnownews.com

pahlaj-nihalaniFormer Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani has claimed that the BBFC decision of certifying the movie Padmavati is illegal.

In an interview with ANI, Nihalani said that for a film to get certification overseas, it's a must that it is passed by the Indian Censor Board. If they've got a thumbs up from Britain without even sending the film, it's against the law.

He added that the BBC has no control over the release of an Indian film. If the film is released outside India, it will eventually be pirated to India, he said.

Meanwhile, a petition seeking orders to the makers to not release the film outside India on December 1, has been filed in the Supreme Court.

Back home, Padmavati has been postponed for an indefinite period of time owing to the furious protests against it by the fringe groups - Rajasthan-based Rajput Karni Sena in particular. The groups are protesting an alleged romantic sequence between Padmavati (based on the legend of Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh) and Mughal Emperor Alauddin Khilji. Some fanatic groups are also incensed with the fact that Rani Padmavati has been shown dancing in the film asserting that Rajput maharanis never danced in front of anyone.

Update: Violent Indian nationalists call for British cinemas to be burnt down

24th November 2017 See  article from independent.co.uk

rajput karni sena white logoBritish cinemas that screen a controversial new Bollywood blockbuster should be burned down, the leader of a hardline Hindu nationalist group has claimed.

Members of the Rajput Karni Sena, a group associated with the warrior Rajput caste, claim it misrepresents history by depicting a love affair between the queen and a Muslim invader. The group is further upset that the queen's midriff is exposed in a song sequence.

Now the leader of Rajput Karni Sena, Sukhdev Singh has called for action to be taken in the UK. He told Republic TV:

I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. I have told them any cinema hall which screens the movie will be burnt.

Update: Safety of Paramount concern

28th November 2017 See article from theguardian.com

paramount logoBritish film distributors are reconsidering the release of Padmavati. In the face of the ongoing controversy, the British distributor, Paramount Pictures, said the UK release date was being reviewed, amid reports that producers wanted to clarify the situation in India before making a decision abroad. It had been due to come out from 1 December.

A London-based Hindu campaign group, Rajput Samaj of UK, declared its opposition to the BBFC's decision to certify the film for release and said it would hold a peaceful protest over what it sees as a historically inaccurate account of Padmini. It told the Guardian that it did not want the film to be released but claimed that it was opposed to any violence.

The call from the charity for the film to lose its certification comes after a fringe rightwing group in India threatened violence if UK cinemas showed the film.

The Indian supreme court had agreed to hear a petition next week asking that the film's UK release be banned. Lawyers said it was unlikely the court could prevent an overseas debut, though the film's producers have already said they would await the Indian censor's approval before distributing the movie worldwide.

ragasthan association logoUpdate: UK Courts

28th November 2017 See article from theguardian.com

Another UK group is also attempting to get the UK release banned. The Rajasthan Association asked the BBFC about censoring the film, but the BBFC commendably responded that freedom of choice must be respected and that filmmakers are free to explore narratives based on historical events and to interpret them as they wish.

The Rajasthan Association was now mulling the option of approaching UK court in connection with the matter.

 

  An historic low for the CBFC...

Indian film censors prevaricate over Padmavati by proposing a panel of historians to determine historical accuracy


Link Here 21st December 2017
padmavati decIndia's Central Board of Film Certification is set to appoint a panel of historians to watch the controversial movie Padmavati, after the makers of the movie stated that it was partially based on historical facts.

The film will now be scrutinised for (partial?) historical authenticity.

The movie has been dogged by protests by some fringe Hindutva outfits which claim it was insulting to Rajput pride. Several politicians then weighed in saying they won't allow the release of the movie in Rajasthan.

Even by conservative estimates the film won't be certified before the second week of January. I don't think they can release the film before March or April. That is, provided the CBFC clears the film without any objection, the source said.

 

  Disclaimers, cuts and 'modifications'...

Padmavati set to be passed U/A by the Indian film censor once cuts have been implemented


Link Here 31st December 2017
padmavati decThe controversial film Padmavati has been granted a U/A certificate by India's Central Board Of Film Certification. U/a allows children to view the film if accompanied by adults. The certificate is dependent on cuts being made which the CBFC claims are 'modifications'.

The 'modifications' include a re-titling, most likely Padmavat , as this apparently changes the name from an historical character to a fictional character.

Amother key modification suggestion is the insertion of disclaimers, specially one regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati. There will relevant 'modifications' in the Ghoomar song to 'befit' the character portrayed. The certificate, as per procedure, will be issued once the required 'modifications' are carried out and the final material is submitted to the CBFC.

CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi says the reports of 26 cuts, appearing in a section of media, are incorrect. They must have counted the incorrect spellings of some locations for which changes had been suggested, he clarified, adding, There are no cuts, only modifications.

The modification details and the CBFC's decision have been shared with the producers--Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. According to the CBFC, they were in agreement with the modifications.

 

 Updated: Amidst continuing violence...

Padmavat finally passed by India's film censor after cuts but remains banned in 3 states


Link Here 17th January 2018
padmavatPadmavati is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

The controversial historical movie Padmaavat looks all set to arrive in cinemas on January 25 but members of the Bharatiya Janata Party continue to make threats about its release?

The film has now been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification with a U/A certificate and five cuts. The title has been changed from Padmavati to Padmaavat as per the board's recommendation. Viacom Pictures put out a press release on Saturday confirming a worldwide release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

However, despite the censor board's green signal, the movie has been banned in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, all of which are BJP-ruled states. This is entirely legal. State governments have the power to block a film's release even after censor clearance.

There has been no end to protests by the Rajput Karni Sena, the community organisation that has been leading attacks on the movie since early 2017 on the grounds that it distorts history. On Friday, over 130 Rajput Karni Sena members were arrested in Mumbai for staging a protest outside the CBFC headquarters in Mumbai. The organisation has demanded that the certification be revoked until its leaders have watched the movie, and have threatened to burn down cinemas that screen the film.

Update: Banned in a 4th state

17th January 2018. See  article from timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Haryana became the fourth state to ban Padmaavat. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, which are also ruled by the BJP political party, have already banned the film despite the censor board clearing it. However, the Aditya Nath Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh has decided not to ban the film.

The Haryana cabinet headed by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar formally approved the proposals made by two ministers Anil Vij and Vipul Goel to ban the film in the state.

 

 Updated: Opening show...

Padmavat is cleared for national release by India's Supreme Court and by the BBFC


Link Here 27th January 2018
padmavatPadmavat is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. BBFC link IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

Court cases abound whenever there's a controversy about an Indian that should be banned or not banned. There are often several people who are willing to spend their cash on advocating for banning or not banning, often in different courts in different states.

However, in the case of Padmavat these cases have rapidly moved to India's Supreme Court which has just passed two judgements about the film. Firstly the Court found that individual states should not be able to overrode the national film censor and so bans in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have been overturned.

india supreme courtThe film's producers had approached the Supreme Court to challenge the states' ban, and Chief Justice Dipak Misra concurred with the producers. He stated:

Cinemas are an inseparable part of right to free speech and expression. States... cannot issue notifications prohibiting the screening of a film.

The second judgement refused the case made by an advocate who wanted the court to overturn the CBFC decision and ban the film. The same judge refused to entertain a plea to cancel the Censor Board certificate given to the movie Padmaavat. Advocate M.L. Sharma had contended that exhibiting the movie in certain States would be an open invitation for violence.

And of course that violence could yet overrule the Supreme Court and force cinemas to not show the film.

Cut version resubmitted to the BBFC

20th January 2018. See article from bbfc.co.uk

BBFC logo UK: A version cut by the Indian film censors was passed 12A for moderate violence, injury detail without BBFC cuts for:

  • 2018 cinema release

The film is 5s shorter than the uncut version submitted a few weeks earlier. There is no change to the rating or consumer advice.

There were 5 CBFC cuts adding up to 5s to downplay the historical accuracy of the film:

  • The title was changed from Padmavati, an historical character, to the fictional name Padmavat.
  • Disclaimers were added with one regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati, and another noting that the film is fictional.
  • There were cuts to the Ghoomar song to 'befit' the character portrayed.

Update: 125 cinemas decide not to screen the movie

21st January 2018. See  article from dailypioneer.com

Even after the Supreme Court asking four States including Gujarat to allow screening of controversial Hindi movie Padmaavat, nearly 125 multiplexes across Gujarat will not show the movie which is set to release on the eve of Republic Day.

Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association, the apex body of multiplexes in the state has voluntarily decided not to show the movie. Core committee member of the association Rakesh Patel said that multiplex owners in Gujarat didn't want to take any risk as there was no guarantee pertaining to safety of the properties.

Update: Inevitably banned by violent religious mobs

23rd January 2018. See  article from bbc.com

Protesters in India's Gujarat have blocked roads and caused local bus services to be suspended, after the Supreme Court cleared the release of controversial Bollywood film Padmavat.

Extremist Hindu groups torched buses and vandalised a theatre in the western state of Gujarat on Sunday.

Despite the court ruling and tightened security, theatre owners in the state have decided against screening the film as they fear further violence.

Update: Worldwide release today

25th January 2018. See  article from metro.co.uk

Padmavat has been released for worldwide screenings, including the UK, today on 25th January. Early reports suggest that cinemas in religious hotspots have decided not to screen the film rather than face violent protest.

Update: Opening show

27th January 2018. See  article from livemint.com

Padmaavat opened in 3,100 screens across the country with an estimated occupancy of 50-55%. It's a very good number given the situation. It clearly shows audiences have come out and supported the film despite all odds, said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema .

Under normal circumstances, a big-ticket film like Padmaavat would have been screened in more than 4,000 screens. States like Rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana refrained from screening the period saga. Protests by the Rajput Karni Sena and consequent violence in parts of the country led to several theatres refusing to showcase the movie..

The film was also pirated and streamed online on a Facebook page, showing interest but not revenue for the filmmakers.

Update: Rajputs who saw Padmaavat angry for opposing it earlier

28th January 2018. See  article from citytoday.news

 

  Uneasiness among the community...

Padmaavat banned in Malaysia


Link Here 28th January 2018
padmaavat 2018Malaysia's film censors have banned Padmaavat , a controversial Hindi movie that features the relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler in medieval India.

The Film Censorship Board (LPF) placed the movie in its not approved list, with a not relevant remark placed on its age rating section. The not relevant remark is usually given to banned movies deemed to likely incite hatred and uneasiness among the community.

In Malaysia, Padmaavat is the second movie to get the axe this year, following Those Long Haired Nights a Filipino movie about three ladyboy sex workers.

 


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