Mumbai: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama ‘Padmavati’ has attracted controversy ever since the film was announced by the filmmaker. Now after crossing many hurdles, the film is set for a release on 1st of December but its problems are still not over. The film is facing the threat of a boycott in states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana with Haryana minister Anil Vij calling for a ban on the film as well. In a desperate bid to get his filmr eleased without incident, Mr. Bhansali has now offered to add a scene in which Alauddin Khilji will stand for the Indian National Anthem in a bid to give a patriotic touch to the film.
The film revolves around Alauddin Khilji’s attack on Chittor in a bid to get Rani Padmini who committed Jauhar along with the ladies of the Court to escape the Sultan from Delhi. The film has angered Rajput community in particular and several other communities in general. Even though Bhansali and the cast members have repeatedly said that the film will not offend anyone’s sentiments, there have been large scale protests against the film with even the politicians and royal families of Rajasthan joining in.
Speaking to the media, Mr. Bhansali said ,”I have spent too much on making this film and have already paid all the actors and technicians so it is not possible for me to stop the release of the film. I can’t change the story either because if I don’t show Padmavati in Padmavati then what else will I show. Therefore, I decided to appeal to the nationalist sentiments of the people. National Anthem has become a matter of great debate over the past couple of years in the country and people are debating whether one should stand for it or not. In my film, I am ready to show Alauddin Khilji standing for the entire 52 seconds for the National Anthem when he hears it. Hopefully protesters will relent then and let me screen the film peacefully.”
When asked how will he integrate National Anthem in a film based in early 14th Century, he said ,”Yaar documentary thodi banayi hai, creative freedom hai. You leave that part to me, I will find a way to insert the National Anthem. I will even show Shahid Kapoor’s army marching to AR Rahman’s Vande Mataram. Aur Bolo.”
Karni Sena hasn’t yet responded to this offer by Mr. Bhansali but a counter protest against Mr. Bhansali is being organized this evening in JNU for forcing Khilji to stand up for the National Anthem.