The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to give a U/A certificate subject to no cuts, but five “modifications” – including a title change – to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film “Padmavati.” The decision has not been welcomed by the Karni Sena, a Mewar royal and some members of the film fraternity.
There were reports doing the rounds that the board had suggested 26 cuts to the film, but in a statement, 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.
Uncertainty has been looming large over the movie’s release since a few months, but on Dec. 30, the CBFC – following an examining committee meeting — said it has decided to give a U/A certificate to the movie subject to modifications.
“There are no cuts suggested in this film by CBFC, only five modifications,” CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi told IANS via email, refuting reports that 26 cuts were ordered in the movie.
“Padmavati,” backed by Viacom18 Motion Pictures, is directed by Bhansali and features Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles. The film, which was to release on Dec. 1, has been embroiled in controversy over alleged distortion of facts regarding Rajput history, with Rajput outfits and some backed by the BJP, actively protesting its release.
CBFC has demanded modifications in the song “Ghoomar” to “befit” the character of Rajput queen Padmavati being portrayed by Padukone, and changes in the “incorrect/misleading reference to historical places.”
The decision was taken after an examining committee meeting was held on Dec. 28 in the presence of Joshi, along with a special panel comprising Arvind Singh from Udaipur, historian Chandramani Singh and Professor K.K. Singh of Jaipur University. As per CBFC, the film was approached with a “balanced view keeping in mind both the filmmakers and the society.”
Despite the go-ahead, Karni Sena, an organization of the Rajput community, which has been protesting the movie’s release on Saturday again urged a complete ban on “Padmavati” alleging “distortion of historical facts.” The CBFC’s suggestions were also slammed by a Mewar royal, who expressed his disappointment in a letter to Joshi.
Popular Bollywood celebrities like Anubhav Sinha, Renuka Shahane and Apurva Asrani, among others also slammed CBFC’s decision on Twitter, where some people edited Deepika’s photograph with her co-star Ranveer Singh, referring to the new title, “Padmavat.”
Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia was “disgusted” by CBFC’s decision. “Disgusted by the open and blatant use of political muscle to screw filmmakers during elections. Now that Gujarat and Himachal are won, ‘Padmavati’ has got its U/A, it will be praised. Rajputs’ heroism will be talked about by the same people who slammed it. Thank God we have not made a film called Gandhi! Can you imagine what title CBFC would suggest,” he tweeted.