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Chief of India’s western state bans controversial Bollywood film, draws filmmaker’s ire

Published: January 9, 2018

STORY: An Indian filmmaker on Monday (January 08) slammed chief of India’s western Rajasthan state after she put a ban on the release on controversial Bollywood film “Padmavat” in her state in the wake of continued protests by Hindu fringe groups.

Indian Film and TV Directors’ Association (IFTDA) president and filmmaker, Ashok Pandit said he was shocked by Rajasthan chief Vasundhara Raje’s decision. Portrayal of a Hindu queen and a Muslim conqueror in the film has enraged Hindu activists who staged mass protests, seeking a complete ban on the movie.

The country’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had cleared late last month and asked the producers to make some cuts in the movie. A Hindu caste organisation, Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena, which has been leading the protests against “Padmavat”, said it will stage a demonstration outside the CBFC office and block the release of the movie.

The film, earlier called ‘Padmavati’, is based on the life of 14th century Rajput queen Padmini, also known as Padmavati, who had refused to submit to Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji, when he arrived at her Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan with his army, and according to some accounts, immolated herself along with thousands of other women before he could storm the fort.

Hardline groups accuse the film makers of distorting historical facts and have taken exception to an alleged romantic sequence between Padmavati, a Hindu, and Khilji, a Muslim.

Local media reported that the movie will release on January 25. It was earlier scheduled to hit screens on December 01.

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