Top 100 Bollywood Movies of All Time: No.22 - "Padmaavat", The Nationwide Controversy Around Bollywood Epic

Priyansh Ha |Jun 28, 2019

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh starrer Padmavat which was voted to be one of the Top 100 Bollywood Movies of All Time used to prohibited in some states and led the whole country into fierce protests. Find out the reason why!

Featuring superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in the lead roles, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat (previously Padmavati) has recently been voted to be one of the Top 100 Bollywood Movies of All Time.

It is a Bollywood blockbuster based on a 16th-century epic poem of the same name. Set in 1303 AD medieval India, the movie revolves around the beautiful queen Rani Padmavati and the attack of Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji to capture her at all price.

Padmavati Bollywood
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat ranks 22nd over Top 100 Bollywood Movies of All Time. Source: Bollywood

An Attempt To Hurt Public Sentiments?

Apart from taking the whole cine world by storm with the actors’ stellar performance and excellent storyline, the movie also created a nation-wide controversy and fierce protests which haven’t been seen in Bollywood history before.

Ahead of its original date of release in December 2017, Padmaavat was into the soup when Hindu groups alleged that the movie included intimate and inappropriate scenes and distorted the history. RSS even called it “an attempt to hurt public sentiments” as it presented the lives of heroic characters based on unconfirmed and unfounded information. 

Padmavat 1 Zee News
'Padmaavat' - Top 100 Bollywood Movies of All Time. Source: Zee News

The Films Was Banned In A Few States

In fact, the controversy had been started since the early 2017 but it was not only until November 2017 that the conflict escalated and broke out into fierce protests. The situation was at its worst in states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, where the governments belong to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. They eventually decided to ban the movie in these states. 

As a consequence, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje came to the conclusion that the movie should be delayed until necessary changes are made to avoid hurting any sentiments of any community. 

Padmavat 3 The Indian Wire
Violent protests in order to stop the nationwide release of "Padmaavat". (Source: The Indian Wire)

A Victory Of Freedom Of Expression

In January 2018, the Supreme Court and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) finally cleared the film release, stated that cinemas are a part of the right to free speech and expression. They also added that states cannot prohibit the screening of a film which was cleared by India’s censor board.

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal applauded the decision of the Supreme Court and the CBFC calling it the "victory of freedom of expression". According to the 83-year-old director, as the movie was clearly stated to be based on a classic poem, it was nonsense to say that it was an offense to the contemporary organizations or their sentiments.

Padmavat 4 Zee News
Source: Zee News

At the box office, Padmaavat became a blockbuster of the year which collected Rs 284 core worldwide. It is also the second highest grossing movie of 2018 (topped by Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju with Rs 342 core) and the 9th highest grossing Bollywood movie of all time.

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