Dead man is latest twist in Padmavati controversy

One Message on stone: We don’t just burn effigies, We hang – Padmavati Liberals: ?? Talibanization, Hindu Terror etc Other Messages: 1 Lootere nai Allah k bande hai 2 Har kafir ka ye haal hoga 3 Jo kaafir ko maarega, Alla ko pyara hoga Liberals: ??Attempt for Communal Tension

— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) November 24, 2017 Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyendra Singh said that the dead man had been identified as Chetan Saini, a resident of Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar who ran a jewellery and handicrafts business. Singh said it was not clear if it was murder or suicide and that it would be too early to relate the messages on the rocks to “Padmavati”. The Rajput Karni Sena, which is most vocal against the movie, denied any involvement in the case. “We express complete disapproval of it and deny our involvement in any manner,” Vivek Singh Shekhawat, the Rajasthan General Secretary of the group said. The release of the Hindi film, earlier scheduled for December 1, has been deferred. Bhansali continued to get the support of the film fraternity. Prosenjit Chatterjee said “directors will stop doing historical films the way it has been handled”. Rani Mukerji said she stood by Bhansali: “He knows that I back him, love him. He is my darling and Sanjay truly believes how much I love him and he knows how I stand by him.”

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Padmavati cleared for UK, Karni Sena says fight on

Padmavati protest may go global soon with Rajput Karni Sena president Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi declaring their fight to ban the film will continue in Britain. Speaking to Republic TV, Gogamedi said,”Our Rajput brothers, our Hindu brothers in England (sic) will be asked to continue the protest there.” Gogamedi told the TV channel that his passport stands impounded because of his role in civil unrest related to a reservation protest led by the Sena or he would have gone himself. Saying the Sena would approach the World Court as well the authorities in Britain, he repeated the Sena’s earlier threat: “Any theatre that screens the film will be burnt down.”

Earlier on Thursday, as the British censors cleared the controversial film Padmavati for release on December 1, and India’s apex court said it will hear on November 28 a fresh plea seeking to block the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie outside India.

A source close to the film’s makers said Padmavati won’t release anywhere on December 1 — its original release date which was deferred after the Indian censor board returned their application on grounds that it was incomplete. “We are not releasing the film anywhere on December 1,” the source told IANS. A petitioner told the Supreme Court in New Delhi that “grave damage would be done to social harmony if the movie was allowed to be released abroad”. According to the official website of the British Board Of Film Classification (BBFC), Padmavati will be released “uncut” in the UK. But its release will now have to wait. The makers are yet to secure a censor certificate in India, where Chief Ministers of at least four states have taken a stand against the release of the historical drama. Starring Deepika Padukone with Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in key roles, the magnum opus tells the tale of Rani Padmavati, the legendary Mewar queen known for her beauty and intelligence as well as courage, her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh, a Rajput warrior king who fought to defend his kingdom and wife’s honour, and Sultan Alauddin Khilji. The movie, Bhansali says, is a tribute to the valour of legendary queen Padmavati. It is mired in controversy in India as Hindu groups backed by the BJP are up in arms against alleged “distortion of historical facts”. Bhansali has repeatedly rebuffed the charges but has been receiving brickbats. A Haryana BJP leader had even offered a reward of Rs 10 crore to anyone who would “behead” Bhansali and the film’s lead actress. Such reactions have disturbed members of the film fraternity. Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan” and Pihu helmer Vinod Kapri expressed concern, while veteran actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the controversy. Shatrughan Sinha, a BJP MP, said: “I’d like to say it’s too late for our dynamic Prime Minister and the other high command to stay silent. Padmavati is a raging issue. And the fringe elements are openly issuing threats. How can the high command keep quiet when goons are threatening to behead Bhansali and Deepika Padukone? “It’s time for our honourable Prime Minister to say ‘enough is enough’. If you give the goons a free reign, they will continue to cross limits in ways we wouldn’t be able to control,” he said.

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(IANS)
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'We're ready for violence': Karni Sena on warpath

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati is far from lighting up big screens in India but the Shri Rajput Karni Sena is a super-hit already, making headlines across the nation and hogging prime time across channels. Swords are being flashed in public, and Karni Sena clones are talking of beheading or maiming the actress who plays the lead role. The man at the focus of the Sena’s exertions against Bollywood’s historical forays is Lokendra Singh Kalvi. Describing himself in a recent interview as 6-foot-4 and 118 kilos, Kalvi flirted with both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party for years before launching his Rajput organisation in 2006.  Here’s a Lokmarg report:   “Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a jihadi,” Shiv Kumar Raghav of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena told Lokmarg on Wednesday, the day his organisation’s top brass descended on Delhi’s Press Club to interact with the media on the Padmavati controversy. “All the cinema halls in India that screen the movie will be set on fire,” he said, invoking the term jauhar—the ritual mass immolation that is the stuff of Rajput legend—for his dire prediction. “Rajputs are ready to resort to violent means if our history is distorted.” Raghav got his lead from Sena supremo Lokendra Singh Kalvi. Addressing the media, Kalvi declared that the “reels of the film should be put inside a box and be committed to jauhar.” Kalvi’s campaign against the distortion of history in a yet unreleased film about a 14-th century ruler of the Delhi Sultanate period and his siege of a fortress in the Rajputana of that time has gathered nationwide momentum, jumping from the fringes into the political mainstream. At last count, three Bharatiya Janata Party chief ministers and one from the Congress were against screening of the film in their states. Asked about his campaign against the film, Kalvi told Lokmarg: “People across parties and communities have come out in support of a ban on Padmavati. Bhansali despite being slapped decided to go ahead with project. Karni Sena maintains will not allow the film to run. Bhansali doesn’t want to show it to us; he never contacted us. So, there’s no chance of any change in view.” Strong-arm tactics The Karni Sena got off to a start in 2008 with its campaign against Jodha Akbar, an Ashutosh Gowarikar film based on Mughal emperor Akbar. The ‘historical inaccuracies’ the Sena raged against meant several states banned the film. The matter went to the Supreme Court then and the ban was lifted, but letters written in blood by Karni Sena members to theatre owners in Rajasthan meant the ban, in effect, stayed. The Sena then took on Ekta Kapoor for producing a TV serial on the same topic, some members allegedly unleashing violence on a Jaipur office of the channel that broadcast it. The Sena, whose Facebook page says it has 7 lakh committed members, remains enmeshed in student politics, which in Rajasthan boils down to centuries of bad blood between Rajputs and Jats, an agrarian community that has, with the exception of two districts, always felt oppressed in the state. Bollywood has churned out a few hit films on this feud.


The Karni Sena

  • A caste group of Rajputs, the princely landowning caste most associated with Rajasthan, it was formed in 2006
  • It does not have a website, but describes itself on a Facebook page as a nationalistic social organisation
  • It claims 700,000 committed members but has a deeper reach in Rajasthan and its border regions with other states
  • It is against Padmavati because it ‘distorts history’ and ‘wrongly depicts’ the legendary Rajput queen
More recently, the Sena came out in support of Anandpal Singh, a dreaded gangster from Nagaur who was killed in a police encounter in June this year. Anandpal, a Rajput, had become a mythical Robin Hood character who ended the free run of many rival gangs of Jats in the state, escaped from jail, and was killed in what the Sena said was a staged encounter. A CBI probe was demanded; civil unrest ensued in Nagaur, and Anandpal was secretly cremated by the police weeks after his death. The Sena was at the focus of all it all when a condolence meet ended with a vow to vote against the BJP in the next elections. Rajputs, a princely landowning caste group, make up about 10% of the state’s population but have very high weightage in Rajasthan’s politics. The Karni Sena’s influence, in turn, is far more than its membership suggests. The Sena suffered a great deal of embarrassment in September when the organisation’s president, Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, was secretly filmed by a news channel striking a protection deal for the bait of a period film about a Mughal emperor and a Rajput princess. Gogamedi, who posts on YouTube, said the video was doctored and threatened the channel with legal action. He’s been at the forefront of the Padmavati campaign this year. The Karni Sena ran riot on a set of the film in Jaipur this January, slapping Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the process. Videos of the violence went viral. In March, a room in the Chittorgarh fort related to the legend of Queen Padmavati was vandalised.  Then a set in Kolhapur was wrecked by arsonists. Bhansali was forced to meet Sena leaders. They say he allayed their fears and promised to show them the finished film before beginning the process of its release. After the BJP on November 2 sought a postponement of Padmavati’s release from the Election Commission over what it said was wrong depiction of history that would hurt some communities , there’s been no stopping the Sena.
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Karni Sena brings Modi into Padmavati picture

Gujarat joins the ban club 

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday declared that the his government would not allow release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” in the poll-bound state. “There is a lot of sensitivity in Kshatriya and Rajput communities with regards to certain depiction of history. We respect their feelings and with elections on the anvil, the state government does not want any controversy. Besides that the law and order is also our responsibility, so we have decided that we will not allow release of movie ‘Padmavati’ in Gujarat,” he said. Rupani also said that the ban was not only limited to the state assembly polls which will be held in December “but till the controversies subside”. Asked by media whether he had seen the controversial movie or not before taking such a decision, he said that it was not required. “I have met several people who have expressed anguish and anger against the movie. It has hurt their sentiments bad and we respect their point of view.” Asked whether this announcement by the Chief Minister of banning the film amounted to violation of the model code of conduct which is in effect in the state, state chief electoral officer B.B. Swain said: “I don’t know. I will have to check the matter and decide.”
At an earlier press conference here, Kalvi said he had already garnered the support of Chief Ministers of four states. “I will make it from four to 14 till the next date is decided. I am meeting three more Chief Ministers in the next two days. This film will not run,” he said. He said his appeal to Modi to “intervene” in the controversy was merely via the media. Do they plan to make a written appeal to Modi? “We will make a written appeal to PM if there’s a need. I haven’t written any appeal to any Chief Minister or the Prime Minister…. I am going to Maharashtra… They will ban it, I am confident,” Kalvi told IANS. Karni Sena has been up in arms against Bhansali since he began shooting the film and had even assaulted him on the sets of his film in Jaipur last year over fears that the movie showcases objectionable scenes. Now, it is calling for a ban. Will the Karni Sena go to the Supreme Court? Kalvi said: “There’s no need. We are in the people’s court and it has a lot of strength.” But the apex court has already rejected two pleas regarding the stalling of the film. “Those were pleas by over-excited people who have no evidence,” Kalvi said. Calling Bhansali a “repeat offender”, Kalvi said: “He does opposite of what he says and never does what he says. Why did they leave the section of genre in the censor board application form blank? He knew whether he writes historical or fiction, he will land in trouble.”

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Karnataka CM wants Deepika to be protected

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has urged the Haryana government to act against fringe elements threatening to bodily harm Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone for her lead role in Hindi film “Padmavati”. “I have asked Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to take strict action against those threatening to harm Deepika, as she just played the lead role in the film as an actress as directed by its maker,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here on Monday. Though 31-year-old Deepika stays in Mumbai, she hails from Bengaluru, where her family, including her father and legendary badminton champion Prakash Padukone, mother Ujjala, younger sister Anisha and grandmother Ahilya live in the city’s southwest suburb. Padukone runs a badminton academy in the city’s western suburb to coach youngsters in the game. “I call upon the CM of Haryana @mlkhattar to take strict action against those holding out threats against her,” tweeted Siddaramaiah later. Reacting to a threat by media cell coordinator of Haryana unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Suraj Pal Ammu, who allegedly offered to reward Rs 10 crore to anyone who would “behead” Deepika, the Chief Minister said the state government would provide security to her and her family in Bengaluru. “I condemn the culture of intolerance and hate perpetuated by the BJP and its right-wing groups. Karnataka stands by Deepika who is a renowned artiste from our state,” asserted Siddaramaiah. The yet-to-be certified historical film is said to have distorted the character role of the 13th century Rajput queen Padmini or Padmavati of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan. Taking cue from the Chief Minister, state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told reporters at Belagavi in the state’s northwest region that the state police would provide security to Deepika whenever she was in Bengaluru or anywhere in Karnataka. “I have directed the state DGP (Director General of Police) to ensure her (Deepika) safety and provide security to her family in Bengaluru,” reiterated Reddy. State Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar also condemned the BJP leader and the fringe groups, which allegedly threatened to “burn Deepika alive”. “Deepika belongs to our state and is the daughter of the country’s most respected sportsman,” said Shivakumar in a tweet from Belagavi, about 500km from here.

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Chouhan, Amarinder say no to Padmavati release

Also on the Padmavati front

  • Deepika pulls out of Global Summit: Actress Deepika Padukone, who is at the centre of a row over “Padmavati”, has pulled out of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), that will have US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the inauguration on November 28 in Hyderabad. A senior official of Telangana government said on Monday that Deepika has withdrawn her name from the event. She had earlier confirmed her participation, the official said. The actress was one of the speakers at a session on ‘Hollywood to Nollywood to Bollywood: The Path to Moviemaking’.
  • SC rejects plea to restrain release: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea seeking to restrain the release of controversial film “Padmavati”, saying that that it is premature and would amount to pre-judging the matter. The reaction of a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra came after it was told that the Central Board of Film Certification has yet to clear the film. “‘Padmavati’ has not yet received certification from CBFC. In view of this, our interference will tantamount to pre-judging the matter. We don’t intend to do so,” the court said in its order, rejecting the plea to block the release of the movie.
  • Censor Board chief says talks are on: Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi on Monday said the Board was trying to follow a process of dialogue vis-a-vis the stalemate surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film “Padmavati”, whose release has been delayed because of opposition from conservative groups. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural function of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) near Panaji, Joshi said: “We are trying to follow processes. Instead of arguments, attempts are being made to have a dialogue on the issue.”
  • BJP leader stands by bounty offer: Kunwar Surajpal Singh Ammu, a ruling BJP leader in Haryana, on Monday said he firmly stands by his announcement of a ?10-crore reward for beheading Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and film actress Deepika Padukone over their movie “Padmavati”. Ammu, chief media coordinator of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state, said he gave the statement as a “Rajput” and not as an office-bearer of the party. Ammu said he had doubled the bounty on the heads of Deepika and Bhansali to Rs 10 crore. Ammu also issued a threat to break the legs of actor Ranveer Singh.
  • National Conference leader wants ban too: NC legislator Devender Rana urged Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to ban the release of ‘Padmavati’ in Jammu and Kashmir, whenever it gets the go-ahead from the CBFC. In a letter addressed to Mehbooba Mufti, Rana said: “The release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ is likely to hurt the sentiments of a particular community/religion and thus holds the potential to disrupt peace in Jammu region.” He said he was for a ban on the movie in the state as many delegations from across Jammu region had approached him on the issue in the last couple of days.

Amarinder Singh, in his comments said: “Anything that is historical event… no one will object. But here they are distorting history,” Singh told reporters. “I have also gone to Chittor and returned and seen all things there… So, this is distortion of history and no one will accept it.” “And if communities are objecting to it then it is their right to object,” the Punjab Chief Minister added. The comments come a day after the release of “Padmavati” was “voluntarily” deferred from its scheduled date of December 1. On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, had said the film would not be allowed to release in the state unless its “controversial portions were removed”. Even Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had on Saturday written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to ensure that “Padmavati” is not released without necessary changes. The film has been mired in controversy over conjectures that it “distorts history” regarding Rajput queen Padmavati, a contention that Bhansali has repeatedly denied. Some Hindu groups, mainly the Karni Sena of Rajasthan, have been vigorously protesting against the movie’s release while some political outfits have demanded that its release be deferred in view of the Gujarat Assembly elections. “Padmavati” features Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.

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Now Vasundhara wants Padmavati cut to size

Shabana Azmi wants filmfest boycotted Veteran actress Shabana Azmi on Saturday urged the Indian film industry to boycott the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa to protest against the threats to actress Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on their upcoming film “Padmavati”. “The entire film industry should boycott IFFI in protest against the threats to Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and ‘Padmavati’,” Shabana said in a tweet. In a series of other posts on Twitter, Shabana lashed out at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which has reportedly sent back the film’s application, allegedly citing it to be incomplete. She wrote: “‘Padmavati’ application to CBFC has been sent back because of incomplete formalities! Really? Or to keep fires stoked for electoral gains?” “Sabki dukaan chal rahi hai (Everybody is gaining) under the patronage not of the fringe but of the government in power. Film industry must stand as one with ‘Padmavati’. Later on, Shabana accused the film fraternity of remaining quiet on the “Padmavati” row. “Smriti Irani is preparing IFFI that’s possible only because the Indian film industry brings such acclaim to it, but keeps quiet about ‘Padmavati’,” she wrote. “This is exactly like H.K.L Bhagat and Congress celebrating IFFI in Delhi after the murder of Safdar Hashmi in 1989. Cultural annihilation”, she wrote. “Padmavati” is Bhansali’s professed tribute to the valour and sacrifice of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati. Various Rajput organisations have demanded that the movie’s release be stalled. Protests over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie “Padmavati” continued to rock Rajasthan as protesters blocked entry to the Kumbhalgarh fort in Rajsamand on Saturday while protests were witnessed in some other towns and cities. “Hundreds of protesters on Saturday blocked entry for a few hours to Kumbhalgarh Fort. It was a peaceful protest and no untoward incident was reported,” SHO Kelwara Yogesh Chauhan told IANS on phone. Protesters shouted slogans against Bhansali and in speech after speech demanded a ban on the movie. They said they will send memorandums to the President of India and Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting requesting a ban on “Padmavati”. Police had taken measures to deal with any untoward incident. Kumbhalgarh fort, situated in Rajsamand district, is one of the prominent forts of Rajasthan. It is the birth place of famous Rajput king Maharana Pratap. (IANS) // ]]>