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Plea seeks ban on “Bajirao Mastani” for “distorting” history

A petition has been filed in a Pune court seeking a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film “Bajirao Mastani”, alleging that it has distorted history relating to late king Shrimant Bajirao Peshwe and his family members.

The case will come up for hearing on November 26 before Pune Metropolitan Magistrate S S Bhule, according to advocate Wajid Khan, who appeared on behalf of Hemant Patil, president of NGO- Bharat against Corruption, who has filed the plea.

The petition, filed yesterday, alleged that historical facts had been wrongly portrayed in the film while showing late king Bajirao Peshwe and his wives Kashibai and Mastani. The “Pinga” song in the film shows leading heroines Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone dancing together, which, the petitioner said “distorts” history.

‘Pinga’ dance is an integral part of Marathi culture and has been portrayed as an ‘item song’ in the film, the petition alleged. Besides Bhansali, Chopra and Padukone have been named as respondents. The court will hear the sides on November 26 to decide on issuing notices to the respondents.

The Magistrate has allowed the petitioner’s plea on the point of jurisdiction of the Magistrate court in Pune to hear the matter, said Wajid Khan. Earlier, Prasadrao Peshwe, the descendant of Bajirao Peshwa I, had also alleged that historical facts have been “altered” while portraying the late king and his wives in the film.

In a letter written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday, Prasadrao has demanded that the government look into the matter, review the soon-to-be-released film, investigate the matter and take a decision accordingly. The film is set for release on December 18.

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