KOTA/JAIPUR: Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today added his voice to the chorus attacking Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama Padmavati, asserting that society would never accept the "character assassination" of historical figures.
The minister of state for agriculture and farmers welfare said historical distortions would not be tolerated by the people.
"If historical facts and characters are presented with distortions and twists, society will certainly come forward to oppose such distortions of historical characters and it will never tolerate such character assassinations," he told reporters after inaugurating a two-day national conference here on agriculture.
Groups such as the Rajput Karni Sena have been opposing the film, director by Bhansali, fearing that it would depict a romantic relationship between Allaudin Khilji and Rani Padmavati -- who figures in the Padmavat, an Awadhi-language poem by 16th century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi.
Now that promos of the film are out, the controversy over the Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh-Shahid Kapoor starrer, slated to be released on December 1, has been gathering momentum.
Sections of Rajasthan's former royals today jumped on to the bandwagon, with BJP MLA and former Jaipur royal family member Diya Kumari asserting that the film's release would "not be allowed" if it took "liberties" with history.
No film should hurt the sentiments of any community by twisting historical facts, she told reporters in Jaipur.
"If the movie does not display authentic history or takes liberties, it will not be allowed to be released," the BJP MLA said.
In a statement, Rajasthan's former Chomu royal family member Rukshmani Kumari also voiced her opposition to any "factual distortion" in the film.
"It is completely unnecessary to hurt sentiments, distort history in the name of cinematic liberty," Kumari said.
State Karni Sena president Mahipal Makrana said at the joint press conference with Diya Kumari the sena would not allow the film to be released and protests would take place.
"The production team had assured us in writing that we will be shown the film before its promotion and it will be released only after that, but they have not fulfilled their promise," Makrana said.
The film should not portray "love scene between Padmavati and Khilji or even a dream sequence", he said.
The ruling party MLA said she would raise the issue at every platform to "protect the honour" of Padmavati. She added the Rajput community would not allow any distortion of the "valiant history of Rajasthan and sacrifice of its people in fighting barbarians".
If the film is released, it would become a recorded document with distorted facts, she said.
Meanwhile, a CBFC member said in Mumbai the film had not yet been submitted to the body for certification.
Under the guidelines of the Central Board of Film Certification, a film has to be submitted 68 days before its release.
"It has not come to us. We will see (what to do with the certification) whenever it does," the member, who did not wish to be named, told PTI.
Sources close to the makers of 'Padmavati' said the certification process was on, but did not elaborate any further.