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Padmavati banned in Madhya Pradesh, but Rajput queen to be part of school textbooks

The MP govt has banned the release of controversial movie Padmavati across the state.

Padmavati banned in Madhya Pradesh, but Rajput queen to be part of school textbooks

Bhopal: Amid ongoing protests over noted film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali's yet-to-be-released movie Padmavati, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said that Queen Padmavati's life will be made part of school textbooks across the state.

The MP Chief Minister also referred to Queen Padmavati – the subject of Bhansali's controversial movie – as 'Rashtramata Padmavati'.

'Rashtramata Padmavati to be included in Madhya Pradesh school textbooks, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.

However, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government had earlier said that a film, which has "distorted facts" about Rajput queen Padmavati and allegedly shows disrespect to her, will not be released in Madhya Pradesh.

"The insult will not be tolerated," Chouhan had said, eliciting a rousing applause from the audience.

While calling Padmavati 'Rashtramata' (mother of the nation) Chouhan said, "The film which distorts facts and disrespects 'Rashtamata' Padmavati will not be allowed to screen in any part of Madhya Pradesh."

He said that queen Padmavati was a "true reflection of the Indian woman". "We have been studying about the rare sacrifice and dedication of queen Padmavati since our childhood," he said referring to the legend that the queen had committed 'jauhar' (self-immolation) before Chittor could be captured by Alauddin Khalji in 13th-14th century.

He went ahead to say that even if the movie is passed by the Censor board for release in the country, it won't make it to the screens in the state. 

Interestingly, the MP government has also constituted an award in the name of the erstwhile Rajput  Queen. A 'Rashtramata Padmavati Award' has been instituted by the state government for people doing outstanding work for the protection of women, he had said.

He said a memorial of the queen would be built at a site in the state capital, where a memorial for the country's brave soldiers has been proposed.

Chouhan made this announcement at an event where BJP's Madhya Pradesh chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan called Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali a 'sinner' and alleged that in the movie 'Padmavati', history had been tampered with for the sake of money. 

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal today demanded a ban on the screening of the controversy-ridden film "Padmavati" in the state.

Rawal also wrote a letter to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) demanding that the movie be shown to a committee of expert historians for scrutiny.

"I have written a letter to the chief minister demanding a ban on the movie if it distorted historical facts," the BJP leader said.

He said any "objectionable scenes" in the movie should be deleted before its release is allowed.
Rawal said he has written to the CBFC to cancel the "certificate given to the movie" and that it be shown to a committee of expert historians.

"Requesting the CBFC to immediately cancel the certificate given to the movie 'Padmavati'. A committee comprising expert historians be allowed to watch the movie and edit the defamatory fantasies for the language, script and scenes which undermines, devalues and insults the great valour and sacrifice of Rani Padmavati which is being worshipped by lakhs of people," the letter read.

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh is based on Rajput queen Padmavati.

Amid rumours that there was a romantic dream sequence between Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji's characters, various Rajput and other groups have been protesting against the film, alleging it "distorts" history and hurts the sentiments of the people.

Historians are, however, divided on whether Rani Padmavati even existed.
Rawal said actor Ranveer Singh should not have played the character of Delhi sultan Alauddin Khalji in the movie.

"He (Ranveer Singh) should have thought what role is he playing," he said.

Khalji has been projected as a hero in the movie and today's generation believe in movies, he said.
"Do they want them to believe that Khalji was a hero?" the minister asked.

Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh - all BJP ruled states - and Punjab, ruled by the Congress, have already opposed the release of the movie. 

With PTI inputs