Jaipur: The Vasundhara Raje government has decided to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its order allowing the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmaavat, a senior Rajasthan minister said on Saturday.
The Supreme Court had earlier this week stayed notifications issued by some states banning the release of the controversial film. Rajasthan’s home and justice minister Gulabchand Kataria said the state government has decided to file a review petition in the Supreme court. The review petition would be filed on Monday or Tuesday, he said.
Kataria also asked the Karni Sena, a group protesting against the film, to be a party to the petition. “After studying the Supreme Court’s decision against the ban on the film, the state government has decided to file a review petition in the Supreme court. The state government is of the view that the honour of the historic event of ‘Jauhar’ should be protected as per the public sentiment," he told reporters after a meeting with Karni Sena leaders.
Along with the Karni sena, the erstwhile royal family of Mewar is also likely to be a party in the petition, he said. Rajput outfits, especially Karni Sena, have accused Sanjay Leela Bhansali of presenting distorted facts regarding Rani Padmavati in the film. The film production company has rejected the allegations.
Karni Sena on Saturday also claimed that Bhansali Productions had sent a letter inviting them to watch the film. Chief patron of Shree Rajput Karni Sena Lokendra Singh Kalvi, however, termed it a drama and said the letter will be burnt and no reply given. “This letter is nothing but a drama by the film maker. There is no date of the proposed screening the film and they have termed our objection as ‘misguided grievances’ which shows their approach and intention," Kalvi told reporters.
Kalvi said that the Supreme Court had ruled against a ban on the film but now a ‘Janta curfew’ would be imposed to prevent its release. “As a mark of respect to the Republic Day on 26 January, we are not calling for a bandh, now we are calling for a Janta curfew," he said. He said that the historians who were shown the film by the censor board were also of the opinion that the film should not be released.
After Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the Karni Sena has also targeted censor board chief Prasoon Joshi saying he should not enter Rajasthan. “If he comes here, he should come on his own responsibility," Karni Sena leader Mahipal Singh said. Joshi is scheduled to attend a session ‘Main aur Who: Conversation with Myself’ on 28 January, on the fourth day of the five-day literature festival beginning in Jaipur on 25 January.
Meanwhile, some film distributors have expressed unwillingness in 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. He said that the decision to purchase the rights could have been taken after the Supreme Court’s order but sentiments of Rajasthan are associated with the film so he preferred to go out on holiday rather than purchasing the rights.
“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," Govind Khandelwal, manger of Entertainment Paradise said. He said that there were queries from audiences but since no decision had been taken, no booking has taken place.
The manager of Raj Mandir cinema, Ashok Tanwar, said that when distributors were not purchasing the rights, there was no question of releasing the film. “We are not expecting the film’s release and this is what we are telling those who are making queries about the film’s release," he said. There are close to 280 cinema hall screens in Rajasthan.