From Padmavati to Padmaavat: The saga of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's epic battle to release film

The film stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati and Ranveer Singh as Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji King and Shahid Kapoor as King Ratan Singh.

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Padmaavat makers can now sighed a relief as Supreme Court on Friday allowed the release of the much-awaited film based on Rajput Queen Rani Padmaavati.

The film stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati and Ranveer Singh as Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji King and Shahid Kapoor as King Ratan Singh.

Here is the timeline of the entire controversy:

December 2016: Sanjay Leela Bhansali starts shooting for his period drama based on Rajput queen Rani Padmavati's life. However, the shooting stops after a worker dies on the film sets after falling from a height of five feet while painting.

January 2017: While Sanjay Leela Bhansali was shooting for the film then called 'Padmaavati' at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur, the director was physically assaulted by members of Karni Sena. The protestors slapped and abused the director and vandalised the film set.

A day after the assault, Bhansali cancels shooting in Jaipur and issues statement that there is no distortion of facts in the film and no dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and Allaudin Khilji.

February 2017: Rajput Karni Sena urges for a need to create  a 'pre-Censor Board' to keep a track on periodical films to prevent misinterpretation of history.

March 2017: On March 6, Rajput Karni Sena enters the Padmini Mahal in Jaipur's Chittorgarh Fort and break the mirrors that is known to have reflected the image of Rani Padmavati for Alauddin Khilji's viewing.

On March 15, Bhansali shifted his sets to Kolhapur in Maharashtra, however, the trouble did not seem to end there. His Kolhapur film set was put on fire and torched by unknown people. After the incident, Bhansali issued a statement confirming there is "no romantic dream sequence" between Ranu Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji in the movie.

April 2017: Many Bollywood celebrities come forward to support Sanjay Leela Bhansali. 

September 2017: Two posters of the film is released with Deepika Padukone wearing traditional attire of Rajput queen and flaunting royal jewellery.

After the posters' release, Karni Sena gathered in front of Rajmandir Cinema Hall in Jaipur and burn down the posters of the film.

November 2017:  In the first of November, Karni Sena blocked access to the Chittorgarh Fort, declaring bandhs. The patron of Karni Sena Lokendra Singh Kalvi rallied across the country and giving interviews to the media in order to put forth the objections of the Rajput Community on the film.

The Supreme Court thrashed a plea seeking a ban on the release of the film and said the top court could not intervene as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is yet to certify the film.

Protests against the film started in many states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and Karnataka.

After protests intensified, Sanjay Leela Bhansali released a video saying there is no distortion of historical facts and the film has been made keeping in mind about the pride and honour of Rajput Queen Rani Padmavati.

The makers then postpone the release of the film after CBFC returned the certification of the film. However, the makers did not announce the next release date.

December 2017: The Censor Board asks Mewar royal family to join the panel to certify the film's release. The Censor Board then decided to give Padmavati a U/A (universal adult) certificate and suggested five modifications, including changing the film's title to Padmavat.

January 2018: The filmmakers declared the date of Padmavat's release to be January 25, which clashed with Akshay Kumar's Padman. However, the film was banned by Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. 

Supreme Court on January 18 cleared the decks for the nationwide release on January 25 of 'Padmaavat', staying the orders and notifications issued by the Rajasthan and Gujarat governments prohibiting its screening.  

On January 19, the Supreme Court  rejected a plea challenging the CBFC certificate to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much-awaited period drama Padmaavat. Rejecting the petition, the three-judge bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said, "the Court has to function as a constitutional court and it has already yesterday in its interim order said that states can't block a movie from screening."


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