With protests engulfing various sections of the country, five states have refused to screen Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (earlier known as Padmavati), citing law and order reasons. The Multiplex Association of India has decided that the movie will not be screened in the cinema halls of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Bihar. However, the movie will sail smoothly in the South, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Multiplex owners have decided not to screen the movie, which has been released today. Yesterday, supporters of Shree Rajput Karni Sena had vandalised malls and shops and burnt vehicles in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Therefore, Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association, Cinematograph Exhibitors' Association of Gujarat and Multiplex Association of India (GMOA) have decided not to screen the movie. "The association has decided not to screen Padmaavat in 120 cinemas across Gujarat, including 32 in Ahmedabad, till a compromise is reached between Karni Sena and film producers," said GMOA chief Manubhai Patel. Multiplexes across the state have put up notices outside their halls, informing citizens that the movie will not be played.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Central Cine Circuit Association (CCCA) said they can’t release the movie due to the violence spewed by members of the Rajput community. “We'd have liked to release the movie, but have decided not to risk life and property. The state government has failed to assure us security and seems to be backing groups opposed to the release of the film," said CCCA chief Jai Prakash Chaukse.
Multiplexes owners in Rajasthan, where the protests originated from, had already refrained from screening the movie. Though there is no official statement, Padmaavat has no takers in Bihar as well. "We have decided not to play the film in four states—Rajasthan, Gujarat, MP and Goa—as the local management has told us that the law and order situation is not conducive," said Deepak Asher, president of the association.
However, things look swell for the movie in other states, especially in South India. "As on Wednesday evening, it is getting released in about 600 screens across the five southern states," a source in Viacom 18 Motion Pictures told The Times of India.