Jaipur, Dec 10 (PTI) The screening of Ashutosh Gowariker's "Panipat" has been discontinued by the management of nearly half of theatres in Rajasthan in the wake of protests against the film, a trade body said on Tuesday.
The film, which chronicles the story of the Third Battle of Panipat fought between the Maratha empire and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761, is facing criticism by Jat groups and political leaders, including state ministers, over the portrayal of legendary Jat ruler Maharaja Surajmal.
"The film's screening has been stopped at almost half of the cinemas. The screening has been completely stopped in Jaipur and also at other places in the state including Bikaner, Nagaur, Ganganagar, Jodhpur, Hanumangarh since yesterday," Raj Bansal, general secretary of Rajasthan Film Trade and Promotion Council, said on Tuesday.
He said that the film was released in 55-60 cinema halls across the state.
Bansal said the censor board should have reviewed the film's content before it issues a certification.
"Cinema halls are just screening the film which has been passed from the censor board. Such controversies affect the business and create an adverse environment," he added.
Meanwhile, a minor protest occurred in front of a cinema hall in Jaipur despite the cinema hall management's decision to discontinue the screening.
Jat groups and leaders including tourism minister Vishvendra Singh, education minister Govind Singh Dotasara, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje have criticised the film's portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal.
On Monday, 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.
"I believe that art and the artists should be respected but they should also take care that any caste, religion, class, great personalities and gods are not insulted," Gehlot said.
"The reactions that are coming about the portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal Ji in the film... such a situation should not have been created," the chief minister said, adding that the Censor Board should intervene and take cognisance of it.
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