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Padmavati row: Karni Sena demands ‘Pre-Censor Board’ to ‘monitor’ historical films

The members of the fringe outfit are disappointed to see CBFC supporting Sanjay Leela Bhansali. 

Keyur Seta

The Shree Rajput Karni Sena held a press conference yesterday (14 February) in Delhi to defend their stand against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming period drama, Padmavati, which stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. 

The group has advocated the formation of a ‘Pre-Censor Board’ to monitor all period films for ‘misrepresentation’ of history before the movie is submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

“In our opinion, a pre-censor board consisting of experts should supervise and monitor any historical film to be made. This will help in overcoming the complications which come up during or after the film is made,” said Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder of the group. 

Bhansali's Padmavati not first nor last to blur line between fact and fiction

The members said that they will soon approach the information and broadcasting ministry to put forward their demand for a ‘Pre-Censor Board.’ 

Another reason for their demand is their recent unsuccessful meeting with the CBFC. “It’s unfortunate to see the Censor Board endorsing Bhansali. Few days back, when we met the censor board authorities, they told us that no action can be taken before the entire film is made and comes to us for review,” he said. They are happy with the assurance given by Bhansali recently. “However, I have personally met the director who has assured us that the film will show no intimate scenes between Ranveer and Deepika.” 

Kalvi clarified that their stand is not against art as a whole or any individual. “We are not taking offence towards every form of art, or as a matter of fact against any filmmaker who wants to tell a period drama. But tampering (with) the glory of Rajput history is something that needs to be considered with great amount of seriousness. Truth often gets overshadowed by the subjectivity of perception which can mislead generations of audience and result in poor understanding of history,” he said. 

He specifically added that they are not happy with Bollywood’s track record when it comes to making historical films. “And when comes to Bollywood, it has happened several times in the recent past, such as in the case of the film Jodha Akbar (2008),” he said. 

Last month, a group of hooligans from the Karni Sena barged into the sets of Padmavati in Jaipur and assaulted Bhansali as they believed that the film ‘misrepresents’ the history of the Rajput queen.