Till when will the film industry cater to baseless demands of the fringe groups, hidden behind the veil of culture and religion? Bollywood is prone to cultural controversies but this time, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat have reached another level of protests amongst people. After a series of struggle, Padmaavat managed to make its mark in the queue of upcoming films, with the release date of 25th January.

Earlier there had been many controversies raised by Karni Sena and Rajput community regarding alleged intimate scenes shot between Maharani Padmavati, portrayed by Deepika Padukone and Alauddin Khilji played by Ranveer Singh in the movie. After a struggle of almost two months, Censor Board of Film Certification agreed to release the movie in India on the condition of covering the bare midriff of Deepika in the ‘Ghoomar’ song. Fun fact: burning theatres that screen the movie is not ‘objectionable’, but a bare waist is.

Still from the old song

“Ye antim chetaawni hai iss baar khamiyaza bhugatna padega. Maharani Padmavati hamari aan baan shaan ki pratik hai aur agar Chhattisgarh mein film lagi to iska khamiaza bhugatna padega. Jahan Padmaavat chalega wo cinema ghar jalega. (This is the last warning, else they will have to bear the brunt. Maharani Padmavati is our symbol of pride and if the movie screens in Chhattisgarh, the cinema halls will be burnt down,” the members said, as reported by The Times of India.

Still from the latest video with vfx covered midriff

CBFC believed that screening of midriff of the divine queen of Chittod, Padmini is an insult to the Rajput community. But, it doesn’t seem to be quite an independent decision as the controversy is highly ruled by the Karni Sena and the other fringe groups.

The old version of the song where Deepika’s midriff is visible

To cater to the demands and to avoid further complications in staring of the movie, the makers decided to cover Deepika’s midriff using VFX effects. Due to the complicated choreography and the set-up, some of the shots are deleted from the song and a new version of ‘Ghoomar’ is been released, 2 minutes shorter than the previous one.

Controversies have already taken an ugly face as the protesters _ to chop-off the head of Deepika. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has also been attacked for the same. It would have been better if religion and entertainment were separated. Unfortunately, today people are more interested in poking others rather than minding their own business. Politicians have always shot the bullets from ‘communist’ and ‘religious’ guns.

But out of all the fuss that has been created, what is enraging the most is the decisions taken by CBFC. It is the moral duty of the board to handle such sensitive issues without deteriorating the glory of the movie.  Standing up to the demands of fringe groups by the maker is giving them the sword back again to stabbing another back. There needs to be an end to the vicious circle which always goes back to square one. Enough of tolerating political and cultural prejudices. Faces covered under the shield of ‘community’ shall no longer be hidden.

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