Amid protests by Jat groups, the producers of Ashutosh Gowariker's historical drama Panipat have reportedly agreed to edit out the portion of the film. “The film distributor has communicated to us that the film producers would be editing certain portion of the film,” additional chief secretary (home) Rajeeva Swarup told PTI.
PTI has quoted a source close to the makers as saying, “We have deleted the scenes related to Maharaja Surajmal. Also, we have got the censor certificate with 11 minutes less length.”
On Monday, 9 December, several theatres in Jaipur stopped the screening of Panipat due to growing protests by Jat groups. The film stars Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Kriti Sanon, and released on 6 December.
‘Panipat’ Screenings Cancelled in Rajasthan Amid Protests
The film has received much criticism for its portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal and many protesters are demanding a ban on the film. On Monday, Inox, Cinepolis and Raj Mandir theatres in Jaipur cancelled all screenings because of the protests. However, according to the manager at Raj Mandir theatre, “no untoward incident was reported” due to the presence of police. According to a report by Rediff, protesters also created havoc and damaged a part of a cinema hall in Jaipur.
Here’s what Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had to say:
"“I believe that art and the artists should be respected but they should also take care that any caste, religion, class, great personalities and gods are not insulted.The reactions that are coming about the portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal ji in the film... such a situation should not have been created.”" - Ashok Gehlot, CM of Rajasthan
He further urged the censor board to intervene.
Apart from Jaipur, people are protesting in Bikaner and Bharatpur as well. Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh, MLAs Wajib Ali, Mukesh Bhakar and Ramswaroop Gawadia have demanded a ban on Panipat in Bharatpur
In Rohtak, the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti has also demanded a ban.
The organisation has alleged that the film distorts historical facts and is pressing for legal action against the producer of the film.
‘Panipat’ Criticised for Depiction of Maharaja Surajmal
Panipat has been surrounded by controversy much before the film released. Initially, Marathi novelist Vishwas Patil booked the makers of the magnum opus for copyright violation and now the Jats of Bharatpur, Rajasthan have raised an objection. According to reports, locals have raised objection to the depiction of Maharaja Surajmal in the film.
Panipat shows a scene where Sadashiv Rao (Arjun Kapoor) seeks help from Maharaja Surajmal in order to protect the empire from the invading forces of Afghan. The film depicts that Maharaja Surajmal demanded a few things in return and he refused to extend a helping hand to Sadashiv Rao Bhau at the failure of completion of said demands.
Many people are also protesting the fact that the locals shown in the film speak Rajasthani and Haryanvi whereas in real life they spoke pure Braj.
It was earlier reported that the angry protesters were burning effigies of the director.
The film hit theatres on 6 December. It also stars Mohnish Bahl, Nawab Shah, Padmini Kolhapure, Zeenat Aman and others.
(With inputs from Rediff)
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