Sanjay leela Bhansali’s Padmavati has been in a myriad of controversies since last year and will hopefully see the light of the day soon. The film got a U/A CBFC certification and a release date of January 25. A change of title to Padmaavat and other modifications to the film have failed to change the fortunes of the magnum opus. The Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are adamant on not releasing the film in their respective states.
After Rajasthan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, made it clear that the film won’t release in the state and said, “Jo kaha hai wahi hoga (whatever I said earlier would continue to remain in force). Following Chouhan's suit, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also denied the release of the film in his state.
According to the 2010 list of single screens in each state by the Film Federation Of India, the states banning Padmaavat-Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, account for approximately 6% of the total screens. Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had earlier indicated in November that the film will not be allowed to be release and are yet to announce their final decisions after the CBFC certification. In the case that UP and Haryana too go ahead with the ban on the film, it would drop the screen count by another (approximately) 10.58%. Padmaavat would then have a no-show in almost 16% of the total single screens in India. Infrastructure development in the states would also mean that the number of single screens in each of these states have decreased in the past seven seven years or converted to multiscreen theatres. Nonetheless, the film will face a huge setback if Uttar Pradesh and Haryana continue with the ban.
The film is based on the legend of Rani Padmini, a 13th
century Hindu Rajput queen, mentioned in Padmavat, an Avadhi poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540. It has been facing protests from various groups, particularly the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering with historical facts. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in the lead.