Central Board of Film Certification Chairperson Prasoon Joshi will not be attending the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, where he was scheduled to address a session on Sunday. The development comes in the wake of repeated threats to Joshi by the Sri Rajput Karni Sena, which, in gross defiance of the law, has gone on a rampage after the censor board cleared Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat for release. “Will not be attending JLF this year and must say will miss sharing great moments with literature and poetry lovers. I am doing this so that the dignity of the event does not get compromised or discomfort caused either to the organisers, fellow writers or the attendees. And also so that the lovers of literature get to focus on creativity and not controversy,” Joshi said in a statement released by the JLF organisers on Saturday morning.
Joshi was scheduled to participate in a session titled Main aur Woh: Conversations with Myself. The Sri Rajput Karni Sena had said it would not allow Joshi to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival. “The issue around the film Padmaavat — I did my job and sincerely took a sensitive and balanced call. As I have said earlier, certification was done with due processes, incorporating valid suggestions whilst staying mindful to the concerns of the society as well as to the canvas of cinema. It’s sad that we are not relying on genuine peaceful dialogue. It’s important that we keep mutual trust and faith in each other and our institutions so that the issues don’t reach this far,” Joshi added in the statement. (ALSO READ – Padmaavat row: Karni Sena warns CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi against entering Jaipur)
The Shree Rajput Karni Sena, on the other hand, welcomed censor board chief Prasoon Joshi’s decision not to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival, saying that possibly the CBFC chief was repenting for his mistake at how he had hurt the sentiments of Rajputs over the film Padmaavat. Vijendra Singh, spokesperson of the organisation, said, “This comes as good news for us. We are glad that he respected the request of Karni Sena and cancelled his scheduled visit. It seems that he is repenting for his mistake at how he had hurt the sentiments of Rajputs. Realising what he has done, he is attempting to make amends it seems.” (ALSO READ – Padmaavat movie review: Ranveer Singh’s menacing Khilji act leaves you transfixed in this epic film)
Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi said, “We had requested him (Joshi) to avoid this visit and he accepted our request, and hence we are quite glad.” The Karni Sena and other fringe elements are protesting Padmaavat saying it distorts history.
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