Padmaavat’s Full Page Disclaimer Ad Disheartens Twitterati, Calls it Death of Democracy

Shruti Venkatesh
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From threats of physical assault to the outright ban imposed on the release of the film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus ‘Padmaavat’ (originally ‘Padmavati’) has faced several controversies and hurdles. Overcoming all these, the film is finally set to release on January 25, 2018. It has received clearance from the CBFC and has made the suggested modifications to the film. The troubles are far from over, as a few states have banned the release of the film and the Karni Sena continues to demand a complete ban on the film. To ensure that there is no further hindrance or row around the release of the film, the makers have put out a full-page ‘disclaimer’ ad, which has deeply saddened the netizens. The Twitterati said that this ‘disclaimer’ ad is proof that there is no place for art in the country. Some were also disheartened by lack of creative freedom.

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The film was earlier set to release in December 1, 2017. However, the release date was postponed as it awaited CBFC clearance. Additionally, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, co-producer of Padmavati, voluntarily deferred the December release of its period saga as protests on the film’s historical accuracy continued across the country. The film was then cleared by the CBFC with five modifications and was officially approved for release in India with a U/A certificate. These modifications include a change in the name of the film, earlier titled Padmavati. It was renamed Padmavat and then finally changed to Padmaavat. Other changes included modifications to the song Ghoomar and to change the incorrect or misleading references to historical places. The tension around the film, despite all these changes being made, continues to exist. Which is why the makers issued a full-page disclaimer. As the ad made its way to the internet, Twitterati erupted with messages opposing the need for such ‘disclaimers’ in art.

Here is the ‘Disclaimer’ issued by the makers:

Here is how the Twitterati reacted:

People were sad:

Some called it the death of democracy:

Valid point?

Some humour:

Apt response:

Hopefully:

Well….:

The film is based on Padmavat, a poem written in the 15th century by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role as Rani Padmavati, alongside Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji. During the shoot of the film, members of Karni Sena, a fringe political group, attacked the sets and seven slapped Bhansali alleging that the film had romantic scenes between Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Things escalated once the film’s trailer released.

Padmaavat has constantly found itself in the midst of controversies. A large part of the objection was directed a dream sequence between Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati, which the makers say never existed in their film. Objections were also raised over the picturisation of the song Ghoomar and some said the film distorts history. Other objections that the protestors raised included “indecent” clothes in Ghoomar song, accusation that the film is an attack on Hindutva, that the film propagates Sati and glamourising Alauddin Khilji. The Karni Sena has constantly demanded a complete ban on the film and even threatened to cut off Deepika Padukone’s nose and behead Sanjay Leela Bhansali if the film is released.