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Social activist approaches HC for stay on release of Bajirao Mastani

A social activist has approached the Bombay High Court seeking stay on the release of the movie Bajirao Mastani until two of its songs — Pinga and Malhari — are not censored as these allegedly distort facts and history.

Hemant Patil, president of a city-based NGO ‘Bharat Against Corruption’, petitioned the HC after a court in Pune dismissed his application seeking ban on the film’s release as it allegedly distorts history relating to late king Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa and his family members.

The movie, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Ranveer Singh as Bajirao, Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai and Deepika Padukone as Mastani, is slated for release on December 18.

According to Patil’s petition, the movie is a “false and bogus representation of historic people like Bajirao, Kashibai and Mastani”. Kashibai and Mastani were wives of Bajirao.

“The filmmaker has tweaked facts under the pretext of artistic licence. There are various historic evidence as well as several letters from the descendants of Peshwas which prove misrepresentation in the name of creativity,” it claims.

“The song Pinga is offensive to Marathi culture. It is a known fact that Kashibai was a handicap and suffering from asthma, and hence it is highly impossible that she danced with Mastani. The said song is nothing but an obscene item song,” the petition said.

Patil has prayed for a stay on the movie’s release until the songs Pinga and Malhariare not re-censored. The petition will come up for hearing in due course.

The Pune court, while dismissing Patil’s complaint, said he can approach Central Board of Film Certification with his grievances about the film.

Earlier, Prasadrao Peshwe, descendant of Bajirao, 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, Prasadrao demanded that the government look into the matter, review the soon-to-be-released film, investigate the matter and take a decision accordingly.

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