GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic film Padmavati, about a legendary late medieval Rajput queen, starring Deepika Padukone in the title role, was supposed to be screened across the country in December. Its release has been postponed after protests dogged the film from the beginning of the year, resulting in sets being vandalised, Bhansali being physically attacked and a BJP politician placing a bounty on Padukone’s head. Much of the violence was motivated by an alleged dream sequence suggesting intimacy between Padmini and Delhi sultan Alauddin Khilji. The protests were absurd because they were based on rumours about a film no one had yet seen. And absurd because the protesters were defending the honour of a queen whose very existence is in doubt.