Karni Sena and Mahakaal Sena have been protesting in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Bagodara, handing over letters to exhibitors, asking them not to screen Padmaavat in the state.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat is five days away from the release and there seems to be no end of problems for the makers. The Supreme Court recently announced ‘no ban’ on the film and it was kind of relief for the makers of Padmaavat. However, soon after the decision of the court was out, Karni Sena protested and threatened to burn cinema halls.
Raj Shekhavat, convener of the Karni Sena told, “if exhibitors are forced to screen the movie, there could be a backlash from the Rajput community and that could lead to a law and order problem. “We have been using nonviolent means for the past year or so in trying to convince the authorities not to allow this film to be released. If it still gets released, there could be violence.”
Rakesh Patel, director, Gujarat multiplex association said to a leading daily, “We have decided not to screen the movie in whole of Gujarat. Everyone is scared, No multiplex wants to bear the loss. Why will we bear the loss? On Friday, we had a meeting with police department which has asked us to provide us details on our security requirement. But at the same time, not one or two, but the number of protesting groups has swelled to 10. All of them have been making frequent visits to multiplexes across the state and have warning us for consequences if the film will be screened. These groups are adding to their strength every day. The number of groups and those supporting them to stop Padmaavat’s release are only adding up by each day. In such scenarios, despite the police department ready to provide security cover, only theatre owners will be at loss in case of untoward incidents.”
Sunil Bansal, a film distributor from Rajasthan said to a leading daily that, “We have no distributor yet. The film has not been sold to anyone. All the rights lie with Bhansali alone. I don’t think the film will be released until the controversy is resolved within the state. The distributor hasn’t been finalised yet. We generally don’t flout orders. So, we will go ahead with whatever the authorities decide. We are awaiting a police orders. Nothing can anyway be done until a distributor comes in.”
Despite the decision given by the court, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the state government would approach the Supreme Court to stop the release of the film. Talking to reporters, he said, “We would once again knock on the apex court’s doors.”
On the other hand, even Rajasthan’s Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria said the state government has decided to file a review petition in the Supreme court.
Meanwhile, some film distributors have backed out from purchasing the distribution rights of the film in the state. “I am not going to purchase the rights of the film as I am going out of the country on a family holiday on 24th January,” a leading film distributor, Raj Bansal, told PTI.
Another distributor, Govind Khandelwal, manager of Entertainment Paradise said, “If the distributors are not ready to purchase the rights, the film producer approaches the exhibitors (cinema halls) for exhibiting the film but confusion is prevailing in case of Padmaavat.”
There are close to 280 cinemas in Rajasthan and the distributors are not expecting the release in the state which is why they have planned not to buy the rights. The distributors are staying safe from their side.
With the latest updates on the release of the film, Karni Sena on Saturday claimed that Bhansali productions had sent a letter inviting them to watch the film before the release. However, they have addressed it as a drama and no reply has been given to Bhansali.
Though Akshay Kumar postponed PadMan release to make way for Bhansali’s Padmaavat, we wonder if the film is going to get its deserving share of audience in such a scenario.
Padmaavat starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh is releasing this Friday, on January 25, 2018.