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Chandraprakash Dwivedi reveals why he named his film Prithviraj

Some fringe groups had demanded a change of title of the Akshay Kumar-starrer when the film was announced.

Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi at the trailer launch

Keyur Seta

When the Akshay Kumar-starrer Prithviraj (2022) was announced, some fringe groups had objected to the title and said the word ‘samrat’ (emperor) should be added to it as a mark of respect to the twelfth century king.

The film’s director, Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi, explained at the trailer launch why he always wanted to name the film simply Prithviraj.

Asked about the controversy over the title, Dwivedi said, “It was just a difference of opinion on what the title should be. I won’t call it a controversy. Shri Aditya [producer Aditya Chopra] also asked if there was a chance of changing the film’s name. I told him that the first book on Prithviraj called Prithviraj Raso also does not address him as Samrat Prithviraj.”

Dwivedi added, “Like Chand Vardai [whose part is essayed in the film by Sonu Sood], even Jayanak was his court poet, who was from Kashmir. Even his book is named Prithviraj Vijaya. Recently, in 2015, a Sanskrit book came out named Prithviraj Charitra. There is no mention of ‘Samrat’. In Delhi there is a street named Prithviraj Road.”

Dwivedi said to address someone by his name shouldn’t hurt anyone. “I call Ram Rambhadra and Shri Ram as well,” he said. “There is a quote in Gujarati, ‘Hari tara naam hajaar, kona naame lakhvi kankotri [Hari, you have a thousand names, to which name should I address my message].' Similarly, in [Prithviraj] Raso, he is addressed as Prathiraj. I feel if you address people with love even by their first name, society shouldn’t have a problem.”

Produced and distributed by Yash Raj Films, Prithviraj will be released in theatres on 3 June.