Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film Padmavati will not release in Bihar after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered a ban on it in response to a demand by Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly Neeraj Kumar Bablu, reported News18.
The reported condition for the ban is “till controversy surrounding it gets over”. As long as the film releases anywhere in the country, the prospect of an end to the “controversy” seems quite out of reach.
The Rajput community has been at the forefront of the protests against the film’s release because of their concern that Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, distorts facts. The minister, Bablu, belongs to this community.
The wisdom of the decision to ban the film in Bihar, after Padmavati met with the same fate in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, should be questioned. All the debate on the film’s content aside, banning is not, and has never been, the right way to tackle such cases. People should be allowed to watch the film and make up their minds rather than be told what they should or should not watch.
Bhansali’s film was scheduled for release on 1 December, but it has been deferred.