Karni Sena, the Rajput group that is spearheading the nationwide protests against Padmaavat did something unexpected. A day after visuals of innocent children caught between the Padmaavat protest violence shocked everyone, in a sudden change of heart, Karni Sena members distributed roses to protest against the film. Members of the group resorted to ‘Gandhigiri’, assembling for a peaceful protest outside Lucknow’s Novelty cinema.
Donning distinguishable orange turbans, they handed out roses to moviegoers on Thursday outside the theatre in Lucknow, requesting them to stand in solidarity with the Rajput community against Padmaavat. The Deepika Padukone-starrer finally hit cinema screens on January 25 after a few modifications. The makers of the film had to change its title from Padmavati to Padmaavat.
Speaking to ANI, a member of the Karni Sena stated, “We will also compensate money for the tickets in case people have already bought.”
The Karni Sena has been facing a lot of backlash of late, especially after the most recent incident where protesters attacked a school bus in Gurugram. A video filmed by one of the passengers showed frightened children huddled on the floor of the bus as the teachers tried to comfort them. The Karni Sena denied its role in the incident.
Violent protests and reports of arson across different regions of the country prompted several state governments to call for a ban on the film.
The movement against Padmaavat was so strong in the Rajput community that even the film sets were vandalised and Bhansali was assaulted. Death threats were also issued against Padukone and Bhansali.
Padmaavat has been the centre of controversy ever since the principal photography for the film began over an alleged dream sequence between Rani Padmini (Padukone) and Aladdin Khilji (Ranveer Singh).