Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Wednesday issued a temporary ban on the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ with the aim of maintaining law and order in the state ahead of the assembly elections next month.
Addressing a press conference, chief minister Vijay Rupani said the decision was made as the film had hurt the sentiments of the Rajput community.
The film has been at the receiving end of protests ever since it started production, with a set being vandalized in January and the director being assaulted a month earlier. Prominent Rajput community groups, including the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, have alleged that the film wrongly portrays the historical Rajput queen. Deepika Padukone plays the titular character in ‘Padmavati’, which also features Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, and Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh, who was defeated by Khilji at Chittor.
On Monday, Madhya Pradesh banned the release of the film, with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying it “distorts historical facts.”
While political parties and leaders have weighed in on the issue—from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat to former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela—incidents of vandalism have been reported from across the state as well as neighbouring Rajasthan, where the protests are more vehement. Last month, a large rangoli in Surat made as part of the film’s promotion was destroyed by protestors shouting religious slogans.