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Censor Board Seeks 26 Cuts, Title Change in Padmavati

A still from the film, Padmavati

The Indian censor board has asked the filmmakers of the mega budget Bollywood movie, Padmavati, to make 26 cuts and change its title. The protesters against the film, which has been embroiled in controversy for a few months, however, say their agitation against it will continue.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said that the title of the movie should be changed to Padmavat from Padmavati. After the changes are done, the movie will be given a U/A certification, which allows children to watch the film under parental guidance.

The period film was slated to be out on Dec. 1 but became the subject of heated debates and protests, following which filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his producers Viacom 18 Motion Pictures had to postpone the release worldwide. Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone, who plays the title role of Padmavati, also received death threats over the release of the movie.

The changes asked by CBFC include one regarding a disclaimer about the practice of Sati, and modifications in the song Ghoomar to befit the character portrayed.

The CBFC had invited historians to review the film since the makers said that it was partially based on facts. The movie, which also stars Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is set in the 14th century and tells the story of Rajput queen Padmavati of the kingdom of Chittor, Rajasthan. Kapoor plays the king, Ratan Singh, while Singh has essayed the role of the invading Delhi ruler, Alauddin Khilji. The story is narrated in poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic titled Padmavat, which was written in 1540. The historical veracity of the story is, however, disputed.

“Special panel consisted of Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr Chandramani Singh and Professor KK Singh of Jaipur University. Panel member had insights and also some reservations regarding claimed historical events and socio-cultural aspects which were duly discussed at length,” NDTV reported citing a board official.

The movie had angered a group called the Karni Sena in Rajasthan and other Rajput groups. A former BJP office bearer in Haryana threatened the lives of the artistes.

Karani Sena workers stage a demonstration against “Padmavati” in Mumbai, on Nov 20, 2017.

The groups, however, say they will continue to raise objections, despite the changes asked by the censor board in the film.