Karni Sena refuses to budge, wants complete ban on Padmavati

New Delhi: Unconvinced by the alterations that will see Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati being portrayed as a work of fiction, Karni Sena on Friday stuck to its demand for an unequivocal ban on the controversial film.

Issuing an open threat to filmmakers as well as the government, Sukdev Singh Gogamedi, national president of the Rajput Karni Sena, said the Central Board of Film Certification and the BJP government will be solely responsible for the ‘consequences’ that follow the release of the film.

The Karni Sena’s decision to persist with its strong-arm tactics seemed to refl incorporate five changes+ . Among the proposed modifications, Padmavati would drop the ‘i’, run a disclaimer that it is a work of fiction, and also clarify that the film does not, in any way, endorse the practice of Sati.

Unimpressed, however, by the disclaimers, Gogamedi said, “Jis prakar Bhansali ki film kalpanik hai, usi prakaar jab hum cinema hall pe phool barsaayenge, who bhi kalpanik hi hoga. Aur iska zimmedar kendra sarkar aur CBFC hoga.” Gogamedi also took exception to the advance release of the song ‘Ghoomar’ which he alleged showed Padmini in poor light, dancing like no Rajput queen would.

“The film is an attack on Rajput pride and a distortion of India’s cultural identity. I want to ask the government and CBFC, why they feel the compulsion to release a film that hurts the sensibilities of people,” Gogamedi said. Karni Sena activists also alleged that historian KK Singh, one of the persons on the special panel formed by the CBFC, as well as the royal family of Mewar had each conveyed to CBFC their disagreement with the portrayal of Padmini in the film. The filmmakers, they alleged, had gone ahead with its production despite the objections.

They also demanded the resignation of CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi, Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani and minister of state for I&B, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.