Ram Leela, the love story created by Sanjay Leela Bhansali on celluloid, is facing protests across the state. Leaders of the Rajput community launched agitations in Rajkot, Bhuj and Bhavnagar on Sunday and in Ahmedabad on Monday.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was also filed in the Gujarat High Court demanding a ban on the movie’s release.
Protests and demonstrations by the Darbar or Rajput community are likely to intensify as the two communities are planning to take out rallies in major cities and towns of the state. “We are planning rallies at major locations on Thursday or Friday. We will submit a memorandum to the collector or mamlatdar demanding a ban on the movie’s release,” said Vikramsinh Jadeja, executive member of the Kutch Kathiawad Garasiya Association. Rajput community leader Siddhrajsinh Chudasama, an advocate and resident of Ahmedabad, has filed a PIL demanding a ban on Ram Leela’s release.
“The director and producer have been totally insensitive not only to the Darbar (Rajput) community but to the Hindu religion as a whole. The title of the movie — Galiyon Ki Ras Leela, Ram Leela — depicts Lord Ram in a negative role. The title, used in a provocative manner, hurts Hindu sentiments and promotes vulgarity,” said the petitioner. The PIL added that the character of a Darbar girl, portrayed by Deepika Padukone, is shown abusing and indulging in vulgar manners which has also hurt the tradition and sentiments of the Rajputs. The PIL, filed in the HC registry on Monday, may be taken up for hearing by the bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala on Tuesday. The movie is about the love story of Ram (played by Ranveer Singh) a Rabari boy, and Leela (played by Deepika).
In Ahmedabad, demonstrations were held near City Gold cinema on Ashram Road. “The film, with its distorting facts, may harm the harmony between the Rajput and Rabari communities. They have been living happily with each other for years. The language used by the Rajput characters also does not reflect the true glory of our community. We are demanding a complete ban on the movie in Gujarat,” said Parthiv Rajsinh, a leader of the community.
Cases in Rajasthan and UP too
Nutan Thakur, a social activist, has filed a PIL demanding a change in the name of the movie. She has claimed that Bhansali’s film has been given the name, Ram Leela, while it has nothing to do with this pious Hindu religious event. On September 21, a court in Jaipur had asked the police to register a case against Bhansali, Ranveer and Deepika and others for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the people.