Amid "Padmaavat" Protests, Chittor Fort Shuts Down For 2nd Time In History -
Amid "Padmaavat" Protests, Chittor Fort Shuts Down For 2nd Time In History
Posted 24 Jan 2018 03:24 PM

Padmaavat" may not be released in Rajasthan tomorrow despite a Supreme Court order, with distributors saying they will not screen the controversial film based on the story of Rajput Queen Padmini, amid massive protests.

The Chittor Fort, the magnificent setting of the Padmavati legend in Chittorgarh, has been shut down for a day, for the second time in its centuries-old history after members of the Karni Sena, which has led protests against the film, tried to break in.

The Karni Sena has threatened that hundreds of women Rajput protesters will commit "Jauhar" - an ancient tradition of self-immolation - at the fort if the film is screened. According to legend, Queen Padmini committed "Jauhar" and jumped into the fire along with several other women at the Chittor Fort, preferring death to dishonor.

"We will not allow the film in Rajasthan," said Lokendra Singh Kalvi of the Karni Sena today.

Karni Sena activists were arrested this morning over the Jauhar threat. A spokesperson of the group had said that "1,900 women have registered for the act".

Protesters today blocked highways and vandalized property, not just in Rajasthan but in Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra, to show their anger against the film, which, they allege, distorts the story of Queen Padmini and shows Rajputs in poor light.

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the final appeal by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to ban the film over law and order trouble. The two states, along with Haryana and Gujarat, had refused to screen the film even after the censor board's green signal earlier this month.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's extravagant costume drama stars Deepika Padukone as Queen Padmini, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji, who leads an invasion to try to capture the queen.

A year ago, members of the Karni Sena attacked the film's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and vandalised the set during filming in Rajasthan. They alleged that the film showed a romance between Queen Padmini and Khilji, which the makers have emphatically denied.

Earlier this month, the censor board cleared the film with tweaks that included changing the title from "Padmavati" to "Padmaavat".

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