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CBFC seeks Mewar Royals assistance to certify ‘Padmavati’

Udaipur : The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has invited M.K. Vishvaraj Singh of Udaipur- Mewar (son of Mahendra Singh Mewar) to be a part of the proposed committee to assist it in the process of certifying the film ‘Padmavati’. However, before accepting the invite, the member of the royal household had sought some written clarifications to the objections he had raised earlier which the board hadnt replied to. “I have received a call from the CBFC chairman to be a part of the committe, however, before accepting or declining the offer, i have asked for some clarifications to be exchanged in writing. Some of the points are directly related to the CBFC and the proposed committee. They need to specify what is the genre under which the film is seeking certification?” Vishvaraj Singh told Udaipur Kiran.

The exercise of appointing a committee and the process of certification appears to be aimed at somehow lending credibility to a film, the released portions of which are found to be seriously objectionable by the very persons whose history and culture the film claims to show case, he stated.

Singh has written a letter to CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi, in which he said that the film is about personages that are respected and revered and has all along been publicised by the makers as being well researched, factual and true to history. ” The film makers have categorically stated that they have been ‘carefully researching and making the film’ and it is they who have to be asked to present their research before the CBFC. The reported involvement of historians in the process of certification so far establishes that the film is of historical relevance.

As questions on the integrity of research became firmer, the narrative through the media shifted to the film being a fantasy and thereafter even questioned the existence of Maharani Padmini. It maybe noted that the film makers have not come forward to dare deny her existence so far, having claimed in previous communication that they would not compromise on her dignity, which would not have been necessary were Maharani Padmini to have been taken up as a fictional or unimportant character whose portrayal did not matter. In any case the fact remains that a substantial section of the aggrieved believe in and worship Maharani Padmini, and this belief exists across sensibilities enough to make her a very real presence” the letter reads. Strongly objecting to the ‘Ghoomar’ song, Vishvaraj Singh said that the song has been released and objections to the song have been raised across the country.

” How does the CBFC plan on dealing with this sequence that has been universally objected to?

The song and promos released make it apparent that all claims of giving due regard to cultural sensitivities ring hollow. The exemplar of the period depicted was most likely to have been Sita as in the Valmiki Ramayan. Bollywood 2017 by no stretch of imagination comes anywhere close to this ideal. It maybe noted that had the film been on living characters, any deviation in depicting their character or way of life would invite legal proceedings not limited to only misrepresentation, maligning of character and commercial exploitation of the subject of the movie without permission. Is such exploitation going to be allowed for revered personages in history?” he questioned. Regarding the reports that the film had been certified in the U.K. Singh asked the CBFC chairman whether any amendments made  to the  film now, alter the film as released the world over or will the amendments only encompass its distribution in India ?

Further, Singh added “There has never been a communal divide here, including at the time of partition when no untoward incidents took place in Mewar. It is very likely that this sentiment will not find a place in the film and going by reports a communal angle has already been picked up on the basis of the released promos and this may have a severe but avoidable adverse effect on the population at large”.

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