The cases against those who protested against the controversial 2018 film Padmaavat would be withdrawn, said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday apart from announcing a memorial of Rani Padmavati.
The Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Deepika Padukone-starrer period drama Padmaavat had faced stiff resistance from Rajput organisations that alleged it distorted history. There were violent protests in several states, including Madhya Pradesh, over allegations by the fringe outfits that the movie had showed the queen in bad light.
The chief minister’s announcement came at a ‘shastra pujan’ (weapon worship) programme of the local Rajput community ahead of the November 3 bypolls to 28 assembly seats. He said land for the queen’s memorial has been earmarked at Manuabhan Ki Tekri in Bhopal.
In sharp criticism against the , he called Padmaavat a “blow to the honour of the society”, further noting that the movie was banned in Madhya Pradesh. “We have decided to withdraw all the cases registered during the protest against the film in the state as the protesters were opposing injustice,” he said.
Lessons on Rani Padmavati will be included in school curriculum from the next academic year, the BJP leader said. Annual prizes of ₹2 lakh each will be instituted in the names of Maharana Pratap and Rani Padmavati to felicitate men and women who have exhibited exemplary bravery, Chouhan announced.
Meanwhile, some members of the audience, including women, shouted slogans against caste-based reservations when the chief minister’s speech was nearing its end. Standing on chairs, they also shouted “Mamaji (as Chouhan is popularly known) give jobs to everyone.”
(With inputs from agencies)