Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar starrer Prithviraj, which is slated to release in November 2020 has run into trouble with Karni Sena. This comes soon after the political drama surrounding the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie Padmaavat and Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika finally fizzled out. Karni Sena has disrupted shooting of the film threatening that ‘no tampering of facts’ will be tolerated.
Members of the outfit, led by its national president Mahipal Singh Makrana, staged a protest at the shooting of the film in Jaipur’s Jamwaramgarh village, Saturday and asked the director, Chandra Prakash, to stop the shooting. Despite the assurance from the makers that the film’s script does not tamper with any historic facts, the organisation was not convinced and have demanded a written assurance from the team.
“We held discussions with the director, Chandra Prakash, regarding the film’s script today. We told him that no tampering with historic facts will be tolerated,” Makrana said on Monday. “Prithviraj Chauhan should not be portrayed as a lover in the film. The director has assured us that there is no such thing in the movie but we want a written assurance,” he said.
Prior to this, Karni Sena had protested against Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. They claimed that it had distorted history and will not let the film release unless their terms are met. They were reported to be upset as they believed that the film showed a relationship between Laxmibai and a British officer. They had also claimed that the film showed the queen dancing to a special number, which is against their tradition.
Prior to that, a controversy over Bollywood movie ‘Padmaavat’ had brought the Rajput Karni Sena to national prominence, albeit for the wrong reasons. It had offered a bounty of Rs 5 crore to chop off the nose of Deepika Padukone, who had essayed the role of Rani Padmini and also vandalised property at a Madhya Pradesh school where students were performing on “Ghoomar”, a song from the movie. The period drama set in the 14th-century had enraged the Rajput group who demanded that the film be banned for allegedly “disrespecting the sentiments of the community”. Their agitation had forced its makers to change its name from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’.
The Congress, whose favoured political tactics has always been appeasement, had encashed the opportunity and played a clever double game over the protests, bearing in mind the elections in Rajasthan later that year.
It was reported by us how Digvijay Singh came out in support of the Anti-Padmaavat protests and claimed that movies, which ‘hurt sentiments of any religion or caste should not be made’. That year in December, the Congress returned to power in Rajasthan 2018 after defeating the BJP.
In 2008, Asutosh Gowarikar’s period drama Jodhaa Akbar, too, faced the wrath of the Senas. Alleging that the movie had distorted history, the activists claimed that the portrayal of Jodha Bai in the movie was not true to facts, Jodha Bai, a princess of Jodhpur, was not married to Akbar, they said.
After the release of the movie, they wrote letters in blood and sent it to theatre owners of the state against screening the movie. Eventually, the movie was not released in Rajasthan. The Sena leaders also urged the Rajput organisations in other states not to screen the movie.
Prithviraj is an upcoming 2020 Bollywood Hindi historical action drama film, directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi and produced by Aditya Chopra under his production house Yash Raj Films. It is about the life of Chahamana king Prithviraj Chauhan and stars Akshay Kumar in the lead role of Chauhan, while Manushi Chhillar (in her film debut) plays his wife Samyukta. The film was officially announced on 9 September 2019 and it will probably be theatrically released in India on 13 November 2020 during the Diwali festival.