The most controvertial movie of the recent times produced by the controvertial film maker and Baji Rao Mastani fame producer, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has finally been released all over the country after so much of rampaging, public outrage, annoyance and burning of hundreds of vehicles nationally, including fifty in Gujarat and myriad number of motor cycles, malls and what not. While the chief ministers of Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat were not at all interested to get the film screened in ther respective states fearing extremely deteriorating law and order situation and increasing vadalism but the Supreme court’s direct intervention asking the states to maintain law and order at all costs and allow the release of the films with total security to the audiences, theatresand the staff, the states have no option but to submit to the courts pressure.
But what was more surprising, shocking and anguishing is the fact that despite the Apex courts orders the four states of the country witnessed the maximum amount of vandalism and open violation of law by the Karni Sena volunteers and the over provoked volunteers. In Guru gram yesterday a school bus has been stoned badly leading to the students being terrorised. Today several schools have been closed in Gurugram.
In Noida the prestigios DPS school has been closed in view of the launching of the controvertial film Padmavat. In Rajasthan, MP, Bhopal, Goa and Patna the film has not been released despite the supreme court’s orders as the theatre owners are not ready to risk their lives as well as the theatre. Recent reports pouring in, in the morning showed vandalism in Ghaziabad still continuing.
In Rajasthan, the state from where the Karni Sena chief belings namely Mr. Kalvi, the main organisation behind the entire episode has in all 270 film theatres and auditoriums but the movie, Padmavat despite its, today’s all India premier, not a single cinema has screened the movie apprehending large scale vandalism.This sounds horrible and also indicates that the government of Rajasthan is in no mood to confront the local Rajputs who form the large and massive part of its vote bank.
However, in the prime minister’s contituency Varanasi the movie has been released. The police force is actively involved in maitaining law and order outside all the theatres nationally. The maximum advantage that Sanjay Leela Bhansali got is, his film got free publicity of billion of rupees out of the entire controversy through newspapers and channels and the audience in crores seems to be quite anxious and crazy to see the movie.
Meanwhile, the producer of the staggering 160 crore controvertial film Sanjay Leela Bhansali would have been quite a relaxed man today as his most talked about historical film has finally been released nationally. I am sure that in future Bhansali will never take the risk of making historical films after facing so much of hiccups, challanges and controversy over Padmavat. The way various states of the country witnessed open violation of law and order and incessant vandalism I don’t think that in the near future any producer will ever risk their time and money over historical films apprehending violence, vandalism and even threat to life.
What makes the situation even more worrisome is the fact that the political rulers sitting at the helm in the states instead of taking the responsibilities to curb violence and vandalism goes to honorable courts to curb freedom of expression and views by requesting the courts to ban the film rather than energising themselves and their govt machinery to curb the open vandalism. This is democracy and in an open loktantra you are not supposed to issue threats, burn vehicles, damage malls and create ruckus in the public creating loss to life and public property.
After all law also has its own course. If one is not happy with a film he is welcome not to watch it but how can he discourage others to shun the picture by way of violence and vandalism. This is not done in a democracy and the country with the rule of laws. Latest news say indicate that several leaders of Karni Sena have gone underground fearing arrests. However, the incidents of vandalism, tyre burning, protests on motorcycle processions and alleged killing threats are still on in various parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat by the Karni Sena volunteers and newly joined Mahakaal Sena.
Meanwhile, the leaders of both Congress and BJP Digvijay Singh and VK Singh has issued similar statements condemning the incidents of violence but emphasised strongly that no producer of the film could be allowed to play with or twist the historical facts of any event. The state minister of external affairs VK Singh said that if differences do exist between the protestors and the film makers they should be amicably settled but no body is allowed to twist the fact.