Social activist Swami Agnivesh faced a blow in the form of Supreme Court’s decision in dismissing his plea on seeking deletion of scenes from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat on the ground that it glorified the ancient practice of ‘jauhar’. The court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra rejected the plea which also tried to lodge an FIR against the producer and director of the film for exalting the social evil of jauhar.
Jauhar was a custom prevalent in Indian societies in which the widows self-immolated on the funeral pyres of their husbands. According to legends Rani Padmini of Chittor had committed jauhar on the death of her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh so that she does not face insults at the hands of Sultan Alauddin Khilji.
The apex court Bench also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, said, “Once CBFC clears the movie, deletion of scenes cannot be directed.” Padmaavat had a tough time being released as Karni Sena and many religious organizations had tried to get a ban imposed on the release of the movie. However, the apex court dismissed several petitions against the movie’s release. Some states tried to hinder its release but the producers moved the court against the ban. On January 18, 2018, the court had overruled the ban and restrained other states from banning the film. Ultimately the movie was released across the country on January 23, 2018.
The states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh had moved the Supreme Court for seeking a ban but it was dismissed on January 23. Padmaavat starred Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles and was based on the historic 13th century battle between Maharana Ratan Singh of Mewar and Sultan Allauddin Khilji of Delhi. The film opened to huge numbers and has become a super hit garnering accolades for the acting and cinematic beauty of the movie.