It will not be wrong to say that the most important issue in the country is the release of a movie that some violent, fringe groups have opposed. People from Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh, UP to Haryana are protesting against the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest movie. However, what is most jarring is the government's lack of stringent actions at the face of threats of violence and disruption. For instance, there are multiple open threats and bounties on the lead actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but the ones issuing these threats publicly are still roaming free.
According to the Business Standard, members of one Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Mahasabha have offered Rs 1 crore to anyone "burning her alive" because they feel that Deepika should know what it feels like to get burnt alive. Superintendent of Police Rohit Singh Sahjawan is seeking a report regarding this, after which necessary actions would be taken.
Haryana BJP Chief Media Coordinator Suraj Pal Amu has announced a reward of Rs 10 crore for beheading Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, as mentioned in agency reports. Not only that, Amu warned Ranveer Singh that he will break his legs if he continues to support the director. This open threat comes after a Meerut resident announced a reward of Rs 5 crore for the two stars.
Amu criticised Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje who urged I&B minister Smriti Irani not to let the movie release without necessary cuts. He says that even necessary cuts won't help as they won't let the movie release. He has been asked by BJP to explain his statement.
Punjab CM Captain Amrinder Singh said that nobody will support the distortion of history and supported those who are protesting against the release of the movie. However, West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee supported Bhansali and the cast and said that this controversy in unfortunate and a calculated plan of the political party, according to a report in The Indian Express.
Veteran actress Shabana Azmi and lyricist Javed Akhtar have asked Bollywood to unite and support Padmavati. They told India Today that the real culprits aren't Rajput Karni Sena but the governments of Rajasthand and UP and the Centre. Actress Aditi Rao Hydari who is also part of the movie spoke on Twitter about the statement made by SP Amu and asked if there is no difference between a gangster and a political leader and that this is an embarrassment for India.
Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal slammed the CBFC and the protestors. He said that the CBFC is acting rather strange. He also said, "I can't understand how the protest has spread across the nation when hardly anyone has seen the film. How can protests against a film become so rampant when no one has seen the film, no one knows the content. I am sorry, the protests make no sense, unless we judge them against the political current political climate in the country," according to Times Now.
According to a report by Financial Express, advocates Sudip Kenjalkar and Smita Padole have filed a suit at the Pune civil court to stop the release of the movie in Pune district. Now, the Pune court has issued show cause notice and summons to Bhansali Productions and the star cast of six people to appear in the court on November 21.
Amid all this, Viacom 18, the studio behind the movie said that they have voluntarily deferred the release of the movie, which was scheduled to release on December 1. A day after this, the Censor Board turned down the makers' request to quickly review and certify the movie.
As of now, Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have been given security by the government.