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Despite bans the excitement around Padmaavat peaks | TiKAG

Despite bans the excitement around Padmaavat peaks

Despite bans, the excitement around Padmaavat peaks

Padmaavat is now a forbidden fruit in certain states of India where holier-than-thou attitudes persist, freedom of speech is threatened and miscreants seem to speak in higher decibels than the lawmakers. Rajasthan was the first state to say that it won’t allow the release of this magnum opus, which is actually based on the 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poem Padmavat. Next, the Government of Gujarat’s Information and Broadcasting department sent a notification stating the film would be banned there. In Goa, the period drama has not been banned but the Goa Police had expressed apprehension about the film being screened in the state during the peak tourist season as they feared it won’t be able to micro-manage the law and order situation, should there be any untoward incidents at theatres that screen Padmaavat. While other states are still debating their line of action with regard to this Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial, the trade in Bollywood is truly unhappy that no one is coming forward to stand with SLB.

The notification from the Information and Broadcasting Department of Gujarat
(The notification from the Information and Broadcasting Department of Gujarat)

Says trade analyst Komal Nahta, “This is victimisation at its worst. How can governments talk of banning a film that has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification? This is appalling and I’m truly angry that something like this should be happening. Honestly, the industry should rally around Sanjay and come out as a unified force to fight people who are trying to do something so unfair.” Nahta feels that despite this atmosphere of ‘a ban’ in certain states, the film will open huge because everyone is waiting for it.

Producer-exhibitor NR Pachisia couldn’t agree more. He says, “Padmaavat is not your regular movie. It is your annual calendar event which you wait for with bated breath. I hope it gets its due.” A third trade source says that people will travel from Gujarat to Maharashtra to catch a screening. He adds, “When Fanaa was banned in Gujarat in 2006, people traveled to Mumbai to see it.”

There are many others who are sure that the governments of the states, which have announced a ban, will come around. Nahta himself agrees on this. He says, “Either the Supreme Court will issue orders revoking the ban or the decision may come from the governments themselves to lift it. There’s still room for dialogue.”

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