Deepika Padukone’s ‘Thali’ diplomacy fails in Rajasthan, but other states to ‘un-ban’ Padmaavat

Deepika Padukone may have been ill-advised by her marketing team to get herself photographed enjoying a Rajasthani thali as a sign of peace diplomacy vis-à-vis the Rajasthan government. But the fact remains that the film is likely to remain banned in Rajasthan, at least for a while now. But there is plenty of heartening news for the Padmaavat team as the film opened to a roaring reception in Patna and rest of Bihar on Monday, four days after it was released in other parts of the country.

An unnamed manager from a theatre in Patna says, “We would have opened on Wednesday night (Jan 24), like other parts of the country. But after promising us security bandobast to protect us against threats from the Karni Sena, the local administration backed out. It was only after repeated reminders that security was provided from Monday morning, and we are running to full houses peacefully. We also got an assurance from the Karni Sena that it was safe to run the film.”

The scenario gets even better for the film’s producers Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Reliable sources close to the developments regarding the release of Padmaavat insist that the ban in Gujarat and Haryana is to end soon.

Says the source, “The Padmaavat team has been relentlessly processing the modalities for release in Gujarat and Haryana. A solution is on the way. The film may release in these two states by the end of this week. But Rajasthan is another ballgame altogether. There, the release may take time.”

BJP’s most outspoken member Shatrughan Sinha describes the ban as arbitrary and unconstitutional. “When the honourable Supreme Court has cleared the film’s release all over the country how can any state restrict the screening? I am very surprised to know the film was not released on time in my home state Bihar. I was not aware of this. Kuch toh gadbad hai.”

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