MUMBAI - Standing firmly with Bollywood, the Maharashtra government on Thursday assured security to theatres which screen "Padmavati", the upcoming epic period drama by filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali that has come under attack from critics. Minister of State for Home (Urban) Ranjit Patil said that in view of the volatile situation, security would be provided to all theatres screening the film which has raked up controversy days before its release.
"All measures will be taken. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis to ensure that no untoward incident happens," Patil told the media. Besides, he said some groups opposing the film had met government representatives to explain their stand and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was seized of the matter. The development came a couple of days after Fadnavis provided a precautionery security cover to Bhansali, who is facing death threats from various quarters. The state government's stand is in contrast to the stand taken by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Mumbai Ram Kadam, also President of the Film Studios Setting and Allied Mazdoor Sangh. Kadam said that in view of the public sentiments, they had decided to oppose the film "tooth and nail" and threatened that his union would never work with Bhansali in future. Besides Bhansali, even the lead heroine of the film, Deepika Padukone, has been threatened by the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, which has called for a nationwide shutdown on December 1 to oppose the film release. However, the Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Sena has said it would take a stand on the film only after watching it and if anything was found objectionable it would discuss the issue with Bhansali. "We have decided not to oppose it without watching it. We are aware that some groups and individuals are against it, but we shall watch the film first before taking any stand," MNCS President Amey Khopkar said in a statement.