01/31/2018, 09.35
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Kuala Lumpur bans Padmaavat movie: 'It offends Islamic sensitivity'

In recent months, the epic has attracted fierce criticism from radical Hindu groups in India. Protests sparked by the alleged love story between a Hindu queen and a 13th century Muslim monarch. The film withdrawn from 90 rooms in the country.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The local distributor for the film Padmaavat confirms that his appeal to the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia (Lpf) to lift the film screening ban has been rejected. Indian director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie features two prominent personalities from the Bollywood cinema: star Deepika Padukone and colleague Ranveer Singh.

In recent months, the epic has attracted fierce criticism from radical Hindu groups in their homeland. Its distribution was opposed by four States (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan) who complained of a distorted and offensive reading of historical facts. Only the intervention of the Supreme Court allowed the screening in cinemas. In November, regional leader with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced a reward of nearly US$ 1.5 million for anyone prepared to behead the director Bhansali and leading actress.

Protests by nationalist politicians and religious leaders were ostensibly due to rumours that the movie included a romantic scene between the Hindu Queen Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone) and the invading Muslim King ʿAlāʾ ud-Dīn Khaljī (played by Ranveer Singh). The movie itself is centred on a legendary 13th century Rajput Queen (Rani Padmini), based on Padmavat, a 16th century text written by Indian poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. In the story, the queen is married to the Rajput king of Mewar, which the Delhi Sultanate under ʿAlāʾ ud-Dīn Khaljī wanted to conquer.

The film has also sparked severe criticism in Malaysia, where the Constitution states that Islam is a state religion and in which 61.3% of the population declares itself Muslim. According to the company that distributes the film in Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur censorship board justifies its decision by suggesting that the film contains elements that impact the sensitivity of Muslims. In the film, it is claimed that Alauddin was so taken by the beauty of Padmavati that he waged a war against her husband, another sovereign. Two days ago, the Lpf therefore confirmed the projection ban, scheduled since last 25 January in 90 movie theatres in the country.

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