India’s top court has rejected a plea by states to reconsider imposing a ban on the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. As per the Supreme Court’s ruling, the film will release as scheduled on January 25. Rejecting the plea the SC retained its earlier order to release the film as scheduled. “People must understand that orders of the top court have to be abided with," said a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Amidst all the controversy resolving the magnum opus Padmaavat, the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh government on January 18 sent a plea to the apex court seeking modification on its earlier order of nationwide release. The period drama retitled Padmaavat was Padmavati when the controversy began last November. Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena, a Rajput dominated party had raised questions against the wrong portrayal of their historical figure Rani Padmini. Soon the protest turned violent with the party publically threatening the film’s director Sanjay Lela Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone.
Padmaavat was originally scheduled to release on December 1 and since then the protests have only intensified. Although the CBFC cleared the film suggesting minor changes and the Supreme Court cleared the nationwide release of the film asking the state government to lift the ban, protests refuse to die down. States like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh stayed firm in their resolve to not screen the movie and appealed for a second plea which the SC has now rejected.
Regarding the rejection of the plea Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud added, "We are not inclined to modify our order." The Supreme Court has also restrained other states from issuing any ban and said that under constitutional obligation the states have to maintain law and order and that it includes providing police protection to persons involved in the film, its exhibition and the audience.”
However, to make matter worse, the Karni Sena has now moved on to hold violent protests and more than a thousand women have threatened to end their life if Padmaavat is screened on its scheduled date.