Jat orgaisations are holding protests against Ashutosh Gowarikar’s latest movie ‘Panipat’ in Haryana and Rajasthan, forcing some movie theatres to cancel screenings of the movie in Jaipur.
Their primary point of contention appears to be the film’s portrayal of Bharatpur’s Maharaja Surajmal—Jat group claim that the film “distorts facts”.
In Haryana, the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti threatened countrywide protests on Tuesday unless the central government bans the movie. Its national president Yashpal Malik, who spoke to the press after the organisation’s core committee meeting in Rohtak's Jassia, demanded legal action against filmmakers and a ban on the movie in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, among other places.
"We are giving the government two to three days to ban the film, failing which we would launch country-wide protests," Malik said.
"Legendary Maharaja Surajmal has been depicted in an unseemly light and historical facts have been distorted in the film," he alleged.
In Jaipur, several theatres stopped screening the movie. According to the management at some cinemas, the shows were cancelled followed instructions from the administration. The screenings will resume only after further orders, they said.
The shows were cancelled at Raj Mandir, Cinepolis and Inox theatres.
“All shows of the film have been cancelled till further orders. The 12 noon show had to be cancelled due to a protest. No untoward incident was reported due to police presence,” Raj Mandir manager Ashok Tanwar said.
An Inox official said in a statement: “As per instructions of the authorities, we have suspended the screening of the movie at our multiplex in Jaipur. The show will remain suspended till further notice”.
In Bharatpur, state Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh and MLAs Wajib Ali, Mukesh Bhakar and Ramswaroop Gawadia demanded a ban on the film. In Bikaner, a protest was held against the film.
Earlier, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters that sentiments of people should not be hurt and it would be better if the film was screened after people’s satisfaction.
‘Panipat’ is based on the third battle of Panipat fought between the Maratha empire and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali, and stars Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Kriti Sanon