Over 200 big and small Rajput organisations staged protests and demanded a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming film "Padmavati" here on Monday.
"Thousands of Rajputs have come from different parts of Maharashtra and other places to demand a ban on the film. The protests will continue till the community's demands are met," said Raj Purohit, the organiser and national President of "Bharatiya Itihas & Sanskriti Rakshak Manch and Rashtriya 36 Kaum Ekta Parishad".
"Several speakers demanded that the film must be shown to the community members which is opposing it on certain grounds. Instead, Bhansali thought it fit to show it to a handful of mediapersons which has upset even the Censor Board," Purohit told.
Some of the leaders who spoke at the meeting included Karni Sena founder-chief Lokendrasingh Kalvi and present president Sukhdeo Singh Gogakhedi, Maharashtra Minister Jaikumar Raval, North Indian community leader R.U. Singh, legislator Ram Kadam and many others.
Kalvi said that Madhya Pradesh has already banned the film, now a similar ban must be ordered all over India as it's a slur on the community and historical facts.
Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Mumbai Ram Kadam, who questioned why the film was screened before obtaining Censor Board clearance, questioned the expertise of some of the mediapersons who have been praising it and trying to create a confusion.
Kadam, who heads one of the unions in the film industry, warned that in future, Bhansali would be boycotted and not allowed to make a single film if he took the community for granted.
Kalvi said that in the past, Bhansali had given a written commitment to the Rajput community that he would first show it to them before its release for the general audiences, but he has gone back on his word.
Purohit called upon Bhansali to invite the aggrieved Rajput community members for a special screening, consider their opinions before going ahead with the release.
"The manner in which the revered Rajput Queen Padmavati is shown dancing is an insult to her and the community as a whole. Till the community's demands are not met, it will continue protests all over the country against 'Padmavati'," Purohit said.
Rajput Satya Gaurav Trust President Batuksinh Waghela said the community is firm that "unless all the objectionable content is deleted from the film, it would not permit its release under any circumstances" anywhere in the country.
During the three-hour protests, thousands of participating community members raised slogans condemning the film and Bhansali, raising full-throated demands for banning it and protecting Rajput pride.