Sanjay Leela Bhansali's much troubled film Padmavati has finally been awarded a U/A certificate but with some suggested modifications and a likely change in the title to Padmavat, to clarify its "attributed material/ creative source".
An email received on Saturday afternoon from the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) stated that the decision was taken after a meeting of its examining committee on December 28. The film's final application was submitted on November 28.
A key modification suggestion is the insertion of disclaimers, specially one regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati. There will "relevant" modifications in the Ghoomar song "to befit the character portrayed". The certificate, as per procedure, will be issued once the required modifications are carried out and the final material is submitted to the CBFC.
'No cuts, only modifications'
CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi says the reports of 26 cuts, appearing in a section of media, are incorrect. "They must have counted the incorrect spellings of some locations for which changes had been suggested," he clarified, adding, "There are no cuts, only modifications."
The change in the title was suggested because the film is based on a fictional novel., "We thought it would be better to clarify than add to the confusion," says Mr. Joshi.
The meeting, held in the presence of Mr. Joshi, had the participation of the examining committee's regular members, CBFC officials and a special advisory panel.
Need for special panel
According to the CBFC email, the need for the special panel was felt in view of the complexities and concerns around the film, "to add perspective to the final decision of the CBFC official committee". The special panel consisted of Shri Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr. Chandramani Singh and K.K. Singh of the Jaipur University.
"The members of the panel had insights and also some reservations regarding the claimed historical events and socio-cultural aspects, which were duly discussed at length," it says.
The CBFC statement clarifies that the film was approached with a balanced view, keeping in mind both the film-makers and society. "The series of events around this film have been unprecedented and the CBFC has proceeded within the guidelines in a mindful and positive manner," it states.
"It has been a tough balancing act to proceed with and has been a well-thought-out decision," says Mr. Joshi.
The modification details and the CBFC's decision have been shared with the producers--Viacom 18 Motion Pictures — and Mr. Bhansali, who attended the feedback session post the screening. According to the CBFC, they were in agreement with the modifications. They have been contacted and an official statement from them is still awaited.
The CBFC note also clarifies that having a special advisory panel at a CBFC meeting is not new and has been practiced earlier — Aarakshan, for which an eminent panel representing a group concerned was created, and Jodhaa Akbar, wherein historical experts were called in.
The film-makers, BhansaIi Productions, in a written communication to the CBFC had also requested that a panel of historians/academicians and members of the Rajput community view the film, states the email.