Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s recent flick Padmavati alias Padmaavat is giving members of the Rajput Karni Sena a restless run as it hits the theatres this week. Having displayed Rajput valour by vandalising public property and announcing bounty on head of Deepika Padukone, the full-time unemployed members announced a nationwide holiday to relieve themselves from the stress built due to everyday protests.
The film received a cold shoulder from the Rajput Karni Sena ever since Bhansali decided to make a film in a country that is alien to art. Speaking to us, Bhansali said, “I am glad that the parallel government has finally cleared my film, besides Supreme Court and the CBFC.” Bhansali also thanked the BJP government for its continuous support during the struggle.
Interestingly, members of the Rajput Karni Sena also thanked the BJP government for its continuous support. “We couldn’t have formed the government without BJP’s support. Running the country is not an easy job, especially when people question why we aren’t behind the bars yet. It was BJP’s immense commitment towards making the filmmaker feel unsafe that has allowed us to show our bravery of vandalising public property to protect our culture,” said Lokendra Singh Kalvi, chief of the parallel government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on a short trip to India, issued his first statement on the entire controversy and thanked the parallel government for clearing the film after suggesting cuts. “We are a democracy, and democracy gives an equal right to every citizen to damage public property and threaten people. If I stop them from doing so, wouldn’t that be an attack on their freedom of speech?” he said, posing an ethical question on governance.
The prime minister further appreciated the Karni Sena’s efforts in forming a parallel government in a short period of time. In his speech at Davos, he said, “Many countries in the world have a quasi-federal State-Centre structure of the government. In India, we are a step further as we give fringe groups a right to overrule the laws and make the government helpless. This is called citizen empowerment—power in the hands of people.”