If the old conundrum “Any Publicity is Good Publicity” is anything to go by, then this next Bollywood film is well on its way to breaking all records soon.
The movie is called “Padmavati” and stars local Bollywood royalty Miss Deepika Padukone, revered as a semi-god in her own country. She will portray the life of the legendary 14th-century queen Padmini.
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Legend has it that the queen has a forbidden liaison with a Muslim prince at the time, and therefore every Bollywood producer has always stayed away from it, knowing full well that kisses cannot be shown on an Indian screen and many fewer love scenes between a Hindu and a Muslim.
The row about its historical accuracy has caused the film to be delayed as last week already tensions had to be eased when a politician from India’s governing party offered a bounty of $1.5m for the heads of both the movie’s star Deepika Padukone and director Leela Bhansali.
Talks have taken place and reassurances were given, but still, the movie premiere will go ahead.
However, more Hindu nationalist groups have claimed that the queen's midriff is exposed in a song sequence, which is also deeply troubling. They have called for a nationwide strike and backed the death threats.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fresh protests erupt in Delhi against the Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PadmavatiMurder?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PadmavatiMurder</a> <a href="https://t.co/3PGICplbqi">pic.twitter.com/3PGICplbqi</a></p>— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TimesNow/status/934011235963564032?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Whereas the movie is already causing enough headaches in India itself, it was bound to be released in the UK, which has a large Indian community, this weekend.
However, a local Indian leader of the tribe of the Rajput Karni Sena, Mr Sukhdev Singh has now stated: “I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. British cinemas that screen a controversial new Bollywood blockbuster should be burned down.”