Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Padmavati’, which has been at the centre of a huge controversy, will get the long-awaited certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification, popularly called the censor board. The board has suggested five modifications to the film including a change in the title to ‘Padmavat’ – and will issue the certificate once the modifications are made.
“There are no cuts suggested in this film… only five modifications,” censor board chairman Prasoon Joshi told NDTV, contradicting initial reports that the board had recommended 26 cuts.
The filmmakers – the producers and the director of the film – are reported to have agreed to the changes.
The censor board said it wanted the disclaimer to clearly state that the film does not claim historical accuracy, modify misleading references to historical places and incorporate a second disclaimer which clearly makes the point that the film does not subscribe to the practice of Sati or seek to glorify it.
The board, however, does want the filmmakers to modify the song, Ghoomar, “to make the depiction befitting the character being portrayed”.
Mr Joshi explained the board’s suggestion to change the name from “Padmavati” to “Padmavat” to the filmmakers describing the fictional Poem Padmavat as their creative source.
“The film was approached with balanced view keeping in mind both the filmmakers and society. Considering complexities and concerns around the film the requirement for a special panel was felt by CBFC to add perspective to the final decision,” an official of the censor board said.
The film was reviewed by a special panel constituted by the CBFC which included historians after the makers of the film stated that it was partially based on historical facts.
“Special panel consisted of Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr Chandramani Singh and Professor KK Singh of Jaipur University. Panel member had insights and also some reservations regarding claimed historical events and socio-cultural aspects which were duly discussed at length,” the board official added.
‘Padmavati‘, the 190-crore film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, has drawn angry protests in Rajasthan where fringe groups like the Karni Sena say the movie “distorts history”. Though they have not seen the movie, leaders of the Karni Sena and several politicians say the 13th-century queen, Padmini, has been disrespected by Mr Bhansali suggesting in his movie that she was romantically involved with Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji.
Mr Bhansali has denied any allusion to a love story, but several BJP-ruled states including Rajasthan have banned the movie, declaring they will not permit it to screen even if it is cleared by the censor board. ‘Padmavati‘ has been produced by Viacom-18; the film’s release was originally planned for December 1, but has been pushed back.
Padmini, according to legend, was a Rajput warrior queen from Chittor in Rajasthan who set herself on fire to save her honour after Khilji defeated her husband in battle.