The release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film, Padmavati, is on hold indefinitely as it continues to face protests from Rajput groups and multiple states have banned its screening. The director was attacked during the filming, and death threats have also been issued to Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone.
Here is a comprehensive timeline of the controversy, from the day of trailer of the film was released till date:
October 9: The movie trailer is released on social media
October 16: A rangoli made by Surat artist Karan K over 48 hours, and inspired by Deepika Padukone’s character in the movie, is destroyed. Five men are arrested.
November 2: BJP notifies the Election Commission seeking a ban on the release of Padmavati till after the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Senior Congress leader and national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil supports the ban, saying, “We demand that if there has been distortion of history as claimed, the movie should not be released at all.”
November 3: Complete bandh in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh city. Tens and thousands of protesters take to the streets demanding a ban.
November 4: Union Minister Uma Bharti tweets an open letter suggesting the formation of a committee consisting of the historians, filmmaker, the protesters and censor board to settle the conflict.
November 7: Former member of the royal family of Jaipur, and BJP member, Diya Kumari, extends her support to the protesters, saying “Rajputs will not allow any distortion of the valiant history of Rajasthan and sacrifice of its people in fighting barbarians.”
November 9: Sanjay Bhansali releases statement reiterating that there is no dream sequence between Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, and that the film will not hurt the sentiments of any community.
November 10: The Supreme Court doesn’t hear a plea seeking a ban of the film, saying that it will not intervene in decisions taken by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
November 12: Over one lakh members of the Rajput community gather in Gandhinagar to stop the release of Padmavati.
November 13: Actor Shahid Kapoor asks protestors to ”give the film a chance.”
November 14: Deepika Padukone makes a statement in which she says: ”It’s appalling, it’s absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed.”
In response, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy tweets:
November 15: CBFC head Prasoon Joshi clarifies that the censor board hasn’t seen the film yet. A protest rally is held in Bengaluru against the film.
November 16: Speaking to ANI, Mahipal Singh Makrana, a member of the Rajput Karni Sena says, “We never raise a hand on women but if need be, we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Shurpanakha for violating the rules and culture of India.” He refers to the chopping of Ravana’s sister’s nose in Ramayana.
Deepika Padukone gets additional security. The Karni Sena calls for nation-wide strike on 1 December.
November 17: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor makes a public statement criticising the “so called valorous maharajas, who today are after a Mumbai filmmaker because their honour is at stake.” He issues a clarification on Twitter after backlash from the Rajput community.
A fringe group blocks entry to the Chittorgarh Fort. A spokesperson of the Karni Sena pulls out a sword and brandishes it on live television during a debate on the film.
The CBFC sends Padmavati back to filmmakers saying that its application was “incomplete.”
November 18: Shabana Azmi urges the film industry to boycott the Goa film fest as a sign of formal protest.
November 19: Producers of the film postpone release of Padmavati indefinitely. In a statement the studio says, “Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind Padmavati, has voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1st 2017.”
Haryana BJP media coordinator, Suraj Pal Amu, supports a call to behead Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “We will reward the ones beheading them with Rs. 10 crore, and also take care of their family’s needs,” he says.
November 20: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee says the Padmavati controversy is a “calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves”
Capt. Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM becomes the first Congress Chief Minister to support the ban on Padmavati, and tells ANI: “Nobody will accept distortion of history and those who are protesting are rightly doing so.”
He later retracts the statement the next day, claiming “vested interests” misinterpreted him.
Additional police personnel are stationed outside Deepika Padukone’s family’s house in Bengaluru. Karnataka CM, Siddaramaiah, says he has “asked Haryana CM to take strict action against those threatening to harm Deepika.”
Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje says that Padmavati will not be released in Rajasthan till necessary changes are made.
CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi says the board needs adequate time to come to a “neutral decision.”
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he won’t allow the release of Padmavati in his state.
Deepika Padukone, pulls out of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), that will have US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending.
November 21: UP Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath says, “I feel that if those threatening are guilty, Bhansali is no less guilty.”
Ranveer Singh breaks his silence on Padmavati for the first time, and extends his support to the film – “I am 200% with the film and my Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I have been asked not to say anything, whatever official stand it is you will get it from producers.”
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar says they won’t let anyone’s sentiments be hurt, but won’t ban the release of Padmavati.
November 22: Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani, becomes the 4th CM to oppose the release of Padmavati. He tweeted the following:
Rajput Karni Sen say they will ensure Akhtar is “banned” from Rajasthan for “inciting communal enmity”. This comes after Akhtar made statements about the Rajput’s lack of involvement in the fight against the British on news channel in Lucknow.
November 23: Supreme Court will hear a PIL against Padmavati on December 28. The plea claims filmmakers misled court.