January 28, 2017

India: 'Rajput Karni Sena' Mob vandalises film set in Jaipur - shooting of the film Padmavati stopped - news report The Times of India

The Times of India

Bhansali calls off shoot, 5 held for vandalism freed

| | Updated: Jan 29, 2017, 02.15 AM IST


  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali cancelled the shooting of his upcoming movie ‘Padmavati’ in Jaipur
  • While the director and his team packed up the shooting at the Jaigarh Fort, the Rajput Karni Sena defended its actions
  • Refusing to apologise, the outfit accused Bhansali’s bodyguard of firing at its members
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, national award-winning director. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, national award-winning director.
JAIPUR: A day after he and his team was assaulted by Rajput Karni Sena for allegedly distorting historical facts, national award-winning director Sanjay Leela Bhansali cancelled the shooting of his upcoming movie 'Padmavati' in Jaipur on Saturday.

Strongly condemning the vandalism and assault, Bhansali said the incident was "uncalled for" and extremely damaging to the image of the beautiful city. In a statement, Bhansali said that keeping in mind the safety of the film's crew he had decided to stop the shooting of the film post the "shocking" incident.

"... for the safety of his crew, we have decided to stop the shoot and leave the city post the shocking incident where miscreants damaged property and misbehaved with the crew on the shoot of 'Padmavati'," the statement read.

Refuting claims of the fringe group that the film will feature an intimate scene between Alauddin Khiji, played by Ranveer Singh and Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), Bhansali said that there is no such sequence.

"We clarify that there is no dream sequence or any objectionable scene between Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji. We have been carefully researching and making the film. In spite of this, the attack on the shoot and crew was uncalled for and was extremely damaging to the image of the beautiful city of Jaipur."

While the director and his team packed up the shooting at the Jaigarh Fort, the Rajput Karni Sena defended its actions. Refusing to apologise, the outfit accused Bhansali's bodyguard of firing at its members, which they claimed provoked the protestors to vandalise the set on Friday.

Our history is being mocked at: Protesters

Sena's founder leader Lokerndra Singh Kalvi said Bhansali cannot be allowed to mock the valor and sacrifice of Rani Padmini of Chittor.

"Despite several warnings and numerous requests to show us the script, Bhansali came to Jaipur to shoot a movie that depicts love scenes between Padmini and invader Alauddin Khilji. Even before we could speak to him, his bodyguard fired gunshots at us," Kalvi said. "There is nothing to apologise or to regret. I am sad that our history is being mocked at, we will better die than witness such blatant lies."

Five Karni Sena activists arrested on Friday for vandalizing the set were released on bail on Saturday. Police said they were yet to get a complaint against a gunshot fired by Bhansali's bodyguard. "We have not come across any bullet mark so far," a police officer said.

Adding that Bollywood only understands 'juta ya chandi', Sena leader challenged Bhansali to depict glorification of Hitler in Germany, "These clowns from Mumbai think they can make the mockery of dignity and honour our ancestors, but not this time," Kalvi added.

Karni Sena leader Lokendra Singh Kalvi addresses the media after being accused of assaulting filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali at the set of film Padmavati, in Jaipur.

Bhansali got the right treatment: Karni Sena

Kalvi said they had even moved the censor board and the ministry of information and broadcasting against the movie but to no avail. "We requested Bhansali to take out the sequence from the movie, to which he said he needs time to think," he said.

Mahipal Singh Makrana, state president of the outfit who was leading the protest at historical Jaigarh fort, said that they gave Bhansali a 'befitting reply'. "You come to our home, insult us, fire on us and then cry about being harassed or manhandled. This is the right treatment given to Bhansali," Makrana said.

Makrana said that he intervened to save Bhansali and contained protest otherwise there had been a bloodbath. "They tried to scare Rajputs with guns and weapons. I rescued the director otherwise he would not have returned home safe," he said.

Taking a jibe at Bollywood celebrities who expressed their anger on twitter to condemn Karni Sena leaders, Makrana dared them to come to Jaipur and discuss history with him. "I heard Hritik Roshan was infuriated at us (for objecting to the release of Jodha Akbar) but he doesn't know how much anger is boiling up inside us," he said.

Makrana made an appeal to other outfits to come together to save Hindu traditions and history. "When invader Khilji killed King Ratan Singh, the king of Chittor, his wife Padmini self-immolated herself so that Khilji could not touch her. There are folktales and books written on her sacrifice. This is a well-established fact of history," he added.

Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said violation of law and order was uncalled for and a probe was likely to be initiated in the matter. "One cannot express anger by breaking the law. They could have filed a police complaint instead of taking law in their hands," Kataria told ANI.

What is Rajput Karni Sena?

Founded in 2006, Rajput Karni Sena is a caste based organization headed by Lokendra Singh Kalvi. After parting ways with BJP, Kalvi formed an organization called 'Samajik Nyaya Manch' along with Brahmin leader Suresh Mishra. Kalvi's main poll plank was reservation for the economically weaker sections of the society. When the political party failed to make any impact in elections, Kalvi formed 'Karni Sena' to fight for the rights of Rajputs in India. The outfit had earlier protested against the shooting of Ashutosh Gowariker's movie Jodhaa Akbar on ground that movie states that Jodhabai was the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber. The outfit claimed that she was daughter of Motaraja Udai Singh of Marwar and was married to Akbar's son Salim alias Jehangir. And Mughal king Shahjahan was her son.

(With PTI inputs)


Mobs cannot be allowed to dictate what film directors can or cannot do. In this specific case, the charge of the film distorting history is itself flawed, but even if it had been true, that should not be a problem. Fictionalised books or films based loosely on historical characters are a common phenomenon all over the world and artists must be granted this creative licence. Where mobs are allowed to run riot on the flimsy grounds of their sentiments having been hurt, creativity will be constrained by fear. It is absolutely necessary, therefore, that the state signals loud and clear that such mob action will not be tolerated. It must catch the culprits and prosecute them vigorously to ensure they are locked away for a long enough period to deter others from following suit.