Mumbai: The censor board has decided to give Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati a UA certificate without any cuts but has suggested that the director change the film’s title to Padmavat besides making four other modifications.
There were reports doing the rounds that the board had suggested 26 cuts to the film, but in a statement, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Prasoon Joshi clarified that they have only advised five modifications, including the title change, but “no cuts". The board has also suggested modifications in disclaimers, pertinently adding one regarding not glorifying the practice of “Sati" and also relevant changes in the song “Ghoomar" to befit the character portrayed, he said.
Joshi added that the producers and the director of the film are “completely in agreement" with the proposed modifications. The board had a meeting of their examining committee on 28 December and decided to give the film a “UA certification along with some modifications and likely change of the film’s title on the basis the attributed material/creative source".
Bhansali, who appeared before a parliamentary panel, had said his lavishly-mounted Rs150 crore period drama, featuring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is based on the 16th century epic poem Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Besides Joshi, the meeting was also attended by regular examining committee members, along with other censor board officials.
Considering the complexities and concerns around the film, the CBFC appointed a “special panel to add perspective to the final decision of the censor board’s official committee". The special panel included Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Chandramani Singh and professor K.K. Singh of the Jaipur University. Joshi said, the filmmakers, Bhansali Productions, in a written communication to CBFC, had also requested that a panel of historians/academicians and members of the Rajput community view the film.
He said that this was not the first instance that a special panel was appointed for the certification process as a similar practice was followed while certifying Jodhaa Akbar and Aarkashan. “This was an unprecedented and tough situation. I am glad that following a balanced approach we resolved the task at hand in a pragmatic and positive manner," Joshi said on CBFC’s decision to give the film a UA certificate.
The certificate as per the procedure will be issued once the required modifications are carried out and final material is submitted. Reacting to the development, founder-patron of Rajput Karni Sena Lokendra Singh Kalvi said a lot of clarifications are yet to come on the issues and it will be too early to comment. He, however, said his stand is “very clear, which is known to everyone".
President of Rajput Sabha Giriraj Singh Lotwara said that it was unfortunate that the board wants to favour the film producers instead of considering recommendations of the panel that reviewed the film. He said that he will continue to protest against Padmavati in democratic manner.
The film’s final 3D application was submitted on 28 November, the CBFC said. The film got stuck in controversy after various Rajput groups alleged that it distorts history, a claim repeatedly denied by the director. Historians are divided on whether Padmini actually existed. As protests spread across various states, the film’s 1 December release was deferred as it didn’t have censor clearance.