While the world was taking a collective sigh of relief after the Karni Sena protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmaavat ended, here is an update that isn’t a happy one.
After strongly protesting against the release of periodic drama Padmaavat, the Shree Rajput Karni Sena has now decided to back Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha’s protest against the “historical tampering” of Queen Laxmi Bai, also called Jhansi Ki Rani, in the film Manikarnika starring Kangana Ranaut.
The film based on the life of Jhansi Ki Rani and allegedly shows the relationship of the queen with a British officer.
Agency reports claim that Shree Rajput Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi, asked if his outfit is lending support to the Brahmin Mahasabha in its fight against the film, said, “Agar Brahmin ka khoon bahega to Rajput kya chup rahega, jab Rajput ka khoon baha to Brahmin kabhi chup nahi raaha” (Rajputs will never keep quiet if Brahmins are affected, and vice versa).” He claimed that 10,000 letters were signed with blood by Brahmins to protest the release of Padmaavat.
On the issue of quashing of FIR against Sanjay Leela Bhansali, producer of Padmaavat, and against Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, he said it had to happen as the apex court has already declared that the film should be released and linked it to the matter of freedom of expression.
“The High Court will definitely follow the Supreme Court. There is nothing new in it,” he added.
Asked if there is any chance of the film being released in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat, Kalvi said the “Supreme Court cannot dictate to cinema halls to release the film and depute paramilitary forces outside cinema halls”. The four states had earlier decided against releasing the film, and three of them had approached the apex court.
“What we know is that cinema hall owners are not ready to screen the film in any of these states,” he said, adding that on February 9, new films are releasing and hence cinema hall owners will be more interested in those.
He said the Censor Board had invited three panelists to watch Padmaavat but their views were not paid heed to and added that a pre-screening board will have a legal voice.