The Supreme Court of India has refused the plea of several states to ban Padmaavat, stating that the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film cannot be blocked over law and order trouble.
Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments had earlier appealed to the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to allow the film to be released nationwide on January 25.
“Governments and people must understand that there is a Censor Board certificate and then a Court order…Better abide by it. Don’t watch if you don’t want to but there can’t be a ban on screening,” the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
The bench also said that the states should ensure law and order is maintained.
The main opposition to the film’s screening comes from fringe organisation Shree Rajput Karni Sena. They believe Padmaavat, which was earlier titled Padmavati, paints the Rajputs in bad light.
In a last-ditch effort to bring the appease the group, Padmaavat director Bhansali reportedly invited the group to watch the film, assuring them that the film will make Rajputs proud, as it showcased the honour and valour of Rani Padmini.
At a press conference on Monday, Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi said he has accepted Bhansali’s invitation. “He thought we would refuse the offer, but we will not. We also want it to be shown to six of the nine people who were chosen by the censor board, but not shown the movie. We will agree with their suggestions,” he said.
However, Kalvi also wants a “janta curfew” if the movie is released.
“I appeal to all social organisations. Get ready and appeal to all cinema house owners to not screen the movie. I have full faith that janta curfew will prevail. Public will say we will not watch the film, theatres will not screen it and distributors will not circulate it,” he said.
Padmaavat stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles.