Padmaavat-row: Censor board's Prasoon Joshi won't attend Jaipur Literature Festival
The self-proclaimed protectors of Hindu culture and tradition have done it again. Their latest victim is Censor Board chief, Prasoon Joshi. He won't be attending the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) after Rajput organization Karni Sena threatened to create a ruckus.
Karni Sena has been protesting against the film Padmaavat, claiming that it presents Rajputs in a bad light.
Here's all about the latest controversy.
What is the Padmaavat controversy?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Padmaavat is based on 13th century Rajput queen Rani Padmini's legend. It's based on an Awadhi poem by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540. The movie has been facing protests from various fringe groups for allegedly tampering with historical facts.
Why is Karni Sena angry with Prasoon Joshi?
Karni Sena threatened Joshi after he cleared Padmaavat with a U/A certificate and five modifications.
When SC cleared Padmaavat's all-India release, Karni Sena warned Joshi that he won't be allowed to enter Rajasthan to attend the JLF. It said "We don't want to hear his lecture. He has put the pride of Rajasthan at stake."
Another group claimed that Joshi had misguided the SC.
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What is Prasoon Joshi's take on Padmaavat?
So, what is Joshi's take on the Padmaavat controversy? He said he did his job "sincerely," taking a "sensitive and balanced call."
He clarified that "certification was done with due processes, incorporating valid suggestions whilst staying mindful to the concerns of the society as well as to the canvas of cinema."
He lamented "It's sad that we are not relying on genuine peaceful dialogue."
How did he react to the threats?
Joshi was going to attend the session Main aur Woh: Conversations with Myself at JLF.
He said "Will miss sharing great moments with literature/ poetry lovers. I am doing this so that the event's dignity doesn't get compromised or no discomfort is caused to the organisers, fellow writers or attendees."
He wanted "literature lovers" to "focus on creativity and not controversy."
Significantly, authors have backed out earlier due to threats
In a shameful reflection on our democracy, JLF has witnessed such backing-out incidents earlier.
In 2012, author Salman Rushdie wasn't allowed to attend following threats from Muslim activists. They were against his novel The Satanic Verses (1988).
In 2013, the RSS-backed saffron brigade protested Pakistani authors' inclusion.
The question now is: will we continue to watch these attacks on our country's democratic fabric silently?
Jaipur Literature Festival
Malik Muhammad Jayasi