Supreme Court Clears Release Of ‘Padmaavat’ By Overturning Six-State Ban

Rajput Karni Sena workers protesting outside the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) office in connection with the release of film Padmavat at Peddar Road, on January 12, 2018 in Mumbai.

The Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a ban imposed by the states of Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, on the screening of the film ‘Padmaavat’. The court also restrained any other state from issuing similar notifications and orders prohibiting the screening of the controversial film based on an epic poem about a Rajput queen.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud heard submissions by producers of the film and cleared the movie for release across India. The producers had approached the apex court after the states decided to ban the film even after the censor board had cleared it for release.

The filmmakers renamed the film from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’ last month to placate Hindu right wing outfits protesting the film’s premise that it altered Indian history by showing a romantic alliance between a proud Rajput queen and a Muslim invader – a charge the filmmakers have repeatedly denied.

Yesterday, a government official said schools playing songs from the film will be penalised.

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman, Prasoon Joshi, said the censor board advised five modifications, including the title change, but “no cuts”, according to PTI. The Rajput Karni Sena, a fringe Hindu right wing group that has burst into the mainstream through their coordinated protests against ‘Padmaavat’, said they were not happy with just a name change.

The release date of the movie was pushed from 1 December to 25 January due to the violent protests in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and other states.

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