Now, Karni Sena protests against Manikarnika's release
A year after Padmaavat fracas, fringe outfit protests against Manikarnika's release, claims film depicts Rani Laxmibai's relationship with British officer; makers deny the existence of the scene
In what appears to be becoming an annual practice, Shree Rajput Karni Sena has resurfaced to protest the release of yet another film. It was a year ago that the fringe outfit had raised objections to the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat (2018), citing that it "distorted history". Cut to the present day — the objection remains the same, but the queen in question has changed.
On Thursday, the group protested against the release of Kangana Ranaut's Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi, alleging that the period drama alludes to Rani Laxmibai's relationship with a British officer. They also claimed that the film shows the queen dancing to a special number, which is against their tradition. When mid-day reached out to Sukhdev Singh Shekhavat, national head of the Karni Sena, he said, "Time and again, we have seen that filmmakers try to take liberties by showing certain scenes [with the purpose of] adding titillation. We won't tolerate such nonsense."
Deepika Padukone in Padmaavat
The biopic, that traces Rani Laxmibai's fight against the British Raj, has been long in the making. When questioned why they waited till the last minute to express their displeasure, Shekhavat said, "We had raised concerns in February last year. Despite the Supreme Court judgment, we didn't allow Padmaavat to release in many states. Manikarnika will face the same consequence. We have requested the producers to show us the film before its release. If they release it [without showing it to us], we will damage property [theatres, here] and won't be liable for it."
That the period drama has been cleared by the Censor Board is of no consequence to Shekhavat. He said, "It doesn't matter if the CBFC has cleared the film. They should have a historian on the board to check the facts." While producer Kamal Jain remained unavailable for comment, the spokesperson from Zee Studios said, "There is no affair shown in the film. Once the film releases on January 25, it will be clear. Manikarnika portrays Rani Laxmibai's strength and bravery as she fought for her motherland. We are proud to present this film, and are confident that it will resonate across age groups."
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