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Nationalism or Vandalism – Challenges for Indian Movie Padmaavat / Padmaavati

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The Supreme Court of India on Thursday, January 18th, gave its nod for the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati (now titled as Padmaavat). The film that was earlier titled ‘Padmavati’ has been in the centre of controversy ever since the film went on floors. There have been attacks on the filmmaker as well as the stars of the film by the right-wing group – Karni Sena who believe that the film depicts the Queen Padmavati in a negative light. The Karni Sena is now reportedly holding protests against the order of the apex court.

The movie Padmaavat / Padmavati was initially scheduled for release on Dec 1, 2017, but due to ongoing agitation, the film will now be hitting the big screens on January 25, 2018.

The Governments of several states of India including Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat have reportedly denied permission to screen the film. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Padmaavat stars the XXX fame star, Deepika Padukone, along with Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.

Celebrities Maintain Silence Over Padmaavat Controversy

While the apex court of the country has given its green signal, the situation still shows the underlying hypocrisy of the Indian film industry. While the nation was divided in separate groups being for and against the agenda, the film industry maintained a loud silence. There were only a few celebrities who took to social media or gave a few bites over the controversy condemning the protests and the attacks. The industry that had shown great enthusiasm over controversies revolving around two leading actors of the Indian cinema has today chosen to remain silent over the agenda that demands a greater response.

In the 21st Century, India Still Struggles With Films & Hypocrisy: Padmaavat Row

It has been seen time and again that the Indian segments stand up in arms protesting against anything that goes against the notion of a perfect society. Be it a film on drugs like ‘Udta Punjab’ or about the love story of a Hindu King with a Muslim Queen ‘Bajirao Mastani’, the nation has shown that a ‘distortion of facts’ will not be tolerated. Situations are like these are worth pondering about as they make one think about the country’s socio-political status in the 21st century.

The most baffling thing here is that this is the same society that has many a times ‘distorted’ facts and history, for convenience. In matters that affect the society much more greatly, the same sensitivity for facts is not seen. So is this a society that upholds values, and voices opinions, only when convenient?

Padmaavat has become the most sensational topic of discussion, for the past few months, in India. In fact, the debate is so rife and vivid that much more important issues have not got the attention they deserved. While India as a nation is making huge progress in fields of commerce, trade, defence and technology, the bigger question is- How developed is the society; the very people and the thoughts that make the foundation of the country?

In other news, the release of another big film ‘Padman’ starring Akshay Kumar, has now been shifted to Feb 9, to avoid clashes with Padmaavat. A Period Film vs. a film about Periods, which one will click with the Indian society?

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