Amidst raging controversy in India, the British Board of Film Classification has passed Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati uncut with 12A certification.
The BBFC posted the decision on Twitter around midnight. In its summary, the British censor board said, “PADMAVATI is a Hindi language epic drama in which a Sultan leads an invasion to capture a Rajput Queen.” It said the film had ‘moderate violence’ and ‘injury detail.’
The Indian censor board has twice rejected the film’s application on technical grounds even as some BJP ruled states and a state government run by Congress in Punjab have decided not to allow its screening. They include the governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, has defended the film calling the protests against Padmavati as super emergency.
A senior functionary of the BJP in Haryana has announced a bounty of Rs 10 crore for anyone who will behead Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The makers of Padmavati recently decided to postpone its release in India following violent protests against the film.
Veteran actor Shabana Azmi had slammed Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani for her silence on the death threats issued to the makers of Padmavati. Azmi had called her fraternity to boycott IFFI, currently being held in Goa. Her call, however, had no effect as several big names from the Bollywood including Shahid Kapoor, who’s acting in Padmavati, turned up for the inaugural event.
Shabana’s husband and noted lyricist Javed Akhtar had lashed out at those who issued threats to Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali citing the hurt of ‘Rajput pride’ in their next release Padmavati.
Without mincing words, Akhtar had said, “I am willing to listen to the argument of a common Rajput. But not these Ranas (members of the erstwhile royal family) or royal family members of Rajasthan. For 200 years they stood inside the courts of British rulers and saluted them with their turban tied. Where was their Rajput pride then? They became kings only because they accepted the slavery of British rulers. They mustn’t talk about their dignity.”