"I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there."
The troubles surrounding Padmavati are no closer to ending. In fact, they have grown over to UK shores, after the country’s certificate board cleared it. Now, Rajputs are determined to prevent international releases of the film.
On 22nd November 2017, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) announced its rating of Padmavati through Twitter. The organisation classed the film as 12A for “moderate violence [and] injury”.
This rating means that anyone over the age of 12 can watch the film. Those under this age limit need to be accompanied by an adult.
In addition, the BBFC revealed on its website that the UK release will have no cuts, saying: “All known versions of this work passed uncut.” It cited the release date as 1st December 2017, which prompted speculation UK audiences would see it on the intended timing.
However, sources from Viacom18 claim the company would only allow international releases once it gains an Indian rating. Currently, the Central Board of Certification (CBFC) are reviewing it for certification.
Viacom18 producers have reportedly added that they want the UK to release the film on the same date as India.
But with the UK clearance follows an angry reaction from Rajputs groups. They have protested against its release, claiming it shows “historical inaccuracies” concerning the titular character.
For example, Sukhdev Singh, the leader of Rajput Karni Sena, called for UK members of the group to take action. He said on Republic TV:
“I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. I have told them any cinema hall which screens the movie will be burnt.”
Due to authorities confiscating his passport, Sukhdev Singh is unable to travel to the UK. However, patron Lokendra Singh Singh Kalvi told Times of India he would go to the country if needed and contact various groups there.
Adding that Rajput Karni Sena would be in the country before the film release, he claimed he written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj: “The Indian government cannot pass orders to the British government, but to maintain good relations with India, I hope the British government will honour the sentiments of the people.”
Meanwhile, the Rajput Samaj, a UK-based group, also opposed the film’s clearance. President Mahendrasinh Jadeja said:
“This film distorts our history, culture and traditions and when it has been boycotted by so many states in India, the filmmakers are trying to use a clever approach of getting the film released in the UK.”
He also claimed members would head to Parliament, protesting a ban on the film.
Prior to this, Hindu groups have opposed Padmavati, with bounties placed on lead actress Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhalsi.
With the movie’s troubles now escalating and spreading globally, it remains an unpredictable case. While the film is cleared in the UK, one wonders whether CBFC will follow suit. Potentially adding cuts or even banning it to ease tensions.