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Bajirao's descendants object to dialogue in Ashutosh Gowariker's Panipat trailer

Nawabzada Shadab Ali Bahadur has served notices to producers Rohit Shelatkar and Sunita Gowariker over the Mastani dialogue.

Our Correspondent

Producers Sunita Gowariker and Rohit Shelatkar have been served notices by an eighth generation descendant of peshwa Bajirao I, Nawabzada Shadab Ali Bahadur, over a dialogue in Ashutosh Gowariker's upcoming Panipat.

The dialogue, Ali Bahadur claims, is defamatory and 'controversial' to his ancestor, Mastani, a wife of the second peshwa. The peshwas were hereditary prime ministers and commanders-in-chief of the Maratha empire.

In a quote to the news portal Firstpost.com, the descendant of the second peshwa said, "The particular dialogue in the movie — ‘whenever the peshwa returns from the battleground, he brings a Mastani along’ — is in bad taste and highly objectionable. The way it has been used presents a bad picture of not only Mastani Sahiba, but also of the peshwa to our audience and to young minds unaware of Maratha history. Mastani Bai was a bona fide wife of peshwa Bajirao and not just another woman."

The objection refers to a line in the trailer, where Kriti Sanon, who plays Parvatibai, wife of Maratha general Sadashivrao 'Bhau' (Arjun Kapoor) is adamant on accompanying him to Panipat. "Maine suna hai peshwa jab akele muhim par jaate hain, to ek Mastani ke saath laut-te hain [I’ve heard that whenever the peshwa sets off on a campaign all alone, he returns with a Mastani],'' she remarks.

In addition to removal of the dialogue, the complainant has questioned the portrayal of Shamsher Bahadur, a son of Bajirao I, and the reason for including the names of Bajirao and Mastani in the trailer.

"Mastani Sahiba died 21 years prior to the third Battle of Panipat. There is no logic in using her name along with the peshwa’s. It has been done in an indecorous manner to gain cheap popularity. Nawab Shamsher Bahadur was a tall, handsome man and a great warrior like his father. He always wore a pugree like the peshwas. In the film he has been shown in the attire and cap of a shayar [poet]," the report quotes Ali Bahadur saying. 

Meanwhile, director Ashutosh Gowariker has urged people not to form a judgement before they have watched the film. "I think people need to watch the film," the director said. "After watching this film, they will get all the answers to their questions, curiosity or aggression. When they watch the film, they will realize that it has been made with honest intent."

Panipat features Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Sanjay Dutt in the lead roles, and is set for release next Friday, 6 December.