Indian members of the Rajput community tear a poster advertising forthcoming Bollywood film 'Padmavati' during a protest in Hyderabad last year. (Photo by: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)


Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat, which has been a controversy magnet since it commenced filming in December 2016, has been cleared for release in Pakistan.

The film has been given a U certification. “Central Board of Film Censors  has declared a feature film containing Indian cast & crew without any excision suitable for public exhibition in the cinemas,” CBFC chairperson Mobashir Hasan said in a tweet. He also noted that the CBFC wasn’t biased in arts, creativity and healthy entertainment.

However, in India things have taken a turn for the worse, with the Karni Sena launching protests against the release of the film.

Four Indian states –Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana — have decided not to release the film amidst protest from fringe groups. Karni Sena members on Wednesday clashed with police, burned vehicles and vandalised malls to protest the film’s release.

In Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, the Hindu Dharmrakshak Sainik burned an effigy of director Bhansali, and protesters in Haryana’s Gurgaon on Wednesday attacked and pelted stones at a school bus filled with children and teachers.

Condemning these protests, actor Farhan Akhtar wrote: “Attacking a school bus is not an agitation. It is terrorism. The people who did it are terrorists. Please refer to them as such.”

Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday backed protests against Padmaavat and said making of the movie could have been stopped.

“Films which hurt sentiments of any religion or caste should not be made,” said Digvijaya Singh referring to violent protests.

This is in contrast to the statement issued by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who accused the BJP government of setting the country on fire.

“There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP’s use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire,” he tweeted.

Padmaavat stars Deepika Padukone as brave Rani Padmavati, Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh.