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Sanjay Leela Bhansali reaches out to Karni Sena for truce, may hold screening before Padmavati release

The Padmavati director has reached out to the protesting political group requesting co-operation to resume shooting for his film. 

Shriram Iyengar

Even as the outrage over the Karni Sena's assault on National Award-winning director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is dying down, the Karni Sena has now agreed to retract their demand over the change in the name of the film. 

Speaking to the media, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, chief of the Karni Sena said, "The filmmakers told us that due to legal and operational issues, the name of the movie can't be changed at this stage, (and) we agreed to that. The producers of Jodha Akbar had also expressed their inability to change the title due to the same reason."

Kalvi also added that the party's 'suggestion' of the movie being screened for them before release was being considered by Bhansali's production. "We had demanded that objectionable romantic scene between Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji should be removed. We're thankful that Bhansali Productions agreed in writing to this crucial demand," he said. 

The protesters also plan to move the Union ministry of information and broadcasting to seek a screening committee for every film that will portray a historical figure. "Everyone knows the bonding between Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. They are also playing the characters of Padmini and Khilji. We told filmmakers that their personal rapport should not be reflected in the film," he said. 

Bhansali's production had reached out to the Karni Sena yesterday (30 January), to make peace. In a written letter to the protesters, the makers of Padmavati stated: 'As discussed with you, this is to specifically clarify that there is no romantic dream sequence or any objectionable or romantic scene between Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji." Bhansali's team also assured the protestors that: 'We are confident that Mewar will be proud of the film made on their revered queen. We do not want to hurt sentiments and would appreciate if all the social organisations and local people support us in making this film and making their queen revered by the world.'

In reply, Vivek Singh, a leader of the Karni Sena told IANS, "We will discuss this proposal made by Bhansali Productions before making a final call in a day or two. Though they have accepted almost all of our demands."

The 'alleged' portrayal of a romantic angle between Queen Padmavati, played by Padukone, and Alauddin Khilji, played by Singh, had resulted in the Karni Sena vandalising Bhansali's sets in Jaipur, and assaulting him in person. 

The incident had elicited a strong response from the film industry, with many calling on the government to take strict action against the violence. 

This truce between the production house and the protestors might disappoint filmmakers seeking more protection for their films. However, it means that Bhansali will have the opportunity to proceed with shooting for the film.