Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi pulled out of the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) following the increasing protests against Padmaavat, saying he wished to avoid any discomfort to the organisers and fellow writers. The 46-year-old’s statement arrived after several threats from the Rajput fringe group, Karni Sena. The group had attacked Joshi for clearing Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus.
Joshi reportedly said that he does not want the "dignity" of the event to be damaged by the Padmaavat controversy. According to reports Joshi was scheduled to be in conversation with writer and filmmaker Anu Singh Choudhury in a session titled Main Aur Woh: Conversations with Myself.
"I will not be attending JLF this year and must say will miss sharing great moments with literature and poetry lovers," Joshi said in a statement. "I am doing this so that the dignity of the event does not get compromised or discomfort caused either to the organisers, fellow writers or the attendees. And also so that the lovers of literature get to focus on creativity and not controversy," he said.
According to reports Joshi was to be provided with Z level security during the JLF after the Karni Sena said last week that it would not allow him to attend the five-day festival at the Diggi Palace.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat starring Bollywood heavy-weights Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh finally released on January 25 amid various protests and accounts of vandalism by fringe groups accusing the filmmaker of "distorting historical facts" and wrongfully portraying Queen Padmavati.