The controversy surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat seems to be gathering pace again as female members of Kshatriya community in Chittorgarh threatened to perform ‘jauhar’ (self-immolation) if the screening of the film is not stopped by the government.
In a Sarvasamaj meeting held in Chittaurgarh, the members decided to stage a phase-wise protest against the proposed release of film. The meeting was attended by around 500 people, out of which 100 females belonged to high-profile families of the city.
Speaking to media outlets, Rajput Karni Sena spokesperson Virendra Singh said on January 17 that national highways and railway tracks across Chittorgarh would be blocked.
The film, already cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) after five modifications and renamed from Padmavati to Padmavat and now titled Padmaavat, is scheduled to release on January 25 across India. The Rajasthan government has, however, decided against releasing it in the state.
A delegation of the Sena is expected to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is scheduled to visit Udaipur, on Sunday requesting him to stop the screening of the movie across India.
According to Virendra Singh, a representative board will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Pachpadra village in Barmer district for laying the foundation stone for a refinery project, on January 16.
“A request will be made to him as well to stop the screening of the film,” he said.
“But, if despite all these measures the film is released, the women of Kshatriya Samaj will perform jauhar on January 24, the day on which the queen performed jauhar, and at the same site,” said Virendra Singh.
Chhittaurgarh Jauhar Smriti Sansthan general secretary Bhanwar Singh said that preparations were also being made to close the gates of the historical Chittorgarh fort once again.
Earlier, the Sena had planned a protest on January 25 and 26, but in the wake of Republic Day celebrations, the protest was rescheduled to January 17.
Padmaavat which starres Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor was initially set for release on December 1, but due to violent protests, opposition and death threats to Padukone and Bhansali, the film’s release was delayed.