Change identify of Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Prithviraj’, calls for Karni Sena

Jaipur/Mumbai, May 31

The Shree Rajput Karni Sena, which had organised protests over the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ claiming distortion of facts, has focused its attention on the upcoming Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Prithviraj’ and is demanding that the title be changed.

The organisation, a fringe group that takes up issues related to the Rajput community, said it wants the title of the Yash Raj Films historical drama to reflect the greatness of the last Hindu emperor Prithviraj Chauhan. Just naming it ‘Prithviraj’ does “injustice with his glory”, it said while warning of protests over the issue.

“The filmmakers have made the film on the great king Prithviraj Chauhan who was the last Hindu emperor and a great Rajput king. How can the name of the film be kept just Prithviraj? The title should have the full name,” Mahipal Singh Makrana, national president of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena, told PTI.

He said the Karni Sena’s Mumbai team, led by Dilip Singh, had filed a complaint with Mumbai Police last week, raising objections over the title, but no FIR had been registered yet.

There was no response from the production house when reached for a comment.

In March last year, Karni Sena members, led by Makrana, had disrupted the shooting of “Prithiviraj” on the outskirts of Jaipur. 

Makrana said filmmakers should give due respect to historic personalities when they make biopics.

 “Our ancestors made history by sacrificing their lives. It is history for us and business for the filmmakers. History is made to protect the culture and not for doing business and earning profits.”       

‘Prithviraj’ is directed by critically-acclaimed writer-director Chandraparaksh Dwivedi, best known for directing and starring in the television epic ‘Chanakya’ (1991) and directing the 2003 film adaptation of Amrita Pritam’s novel ‘Pinjar’.

It is produced by Yash Raj Films and also features Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar as Sanyogita, opposite Kumar’s Prithviraj Chauhan.

During the protests last year, the Karni Sena had sought an assurance from Dwivedi that there would be no tampering with historic facts in the script.

 “Prithviraj is based mainly on medieval literature, an epic called ‘Prithviraj Raso’ by the great poet Chand Bardai. Apart from a couple of versions of Raso, there are many other literary works on Prithviraj, his life and times,” Dwivedi had said earlier.

According to Makrana, Dwivedi had given an assurance that the Karni Sena would be provided with a copy of the film’s script and had not revealed the title of the film.

 “Since the movie is based on Prithviraj Chauhan, we wanted to go through the script to make sure that there is no distortion of historic facts in the movie and the director had assured us that the script will be provided but nothing happened after that. At that time, the director did not disclose the title of the movie. Now, it is clear that the title is just ‘Prithiviraj’ which is injustice with the glory of the king,” he said.

The Karni Sena leader said they will plan a protest if the title of the film is not changed or if they find any distortion of historic facts in the movie.

‘Prithviraj’ was supposed to release in November this year but there is no clarity on whether producers will stick to the original release date or extend it further given the Covid situation.

 In 2017, Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ attracted major controversy with the group protesting against the film claiming that the director portrays a Rajput queen in negative light.  The movie’s sets were vandalised and Bhansali was assaulted during the shooting of the movie while lead actor Deepika Padukone was also threatened with violence.

The film finally released in January 2018 with the changed title of ‘Padmaavat’. — PTI


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