Bollywood celebrities say their faith in Indian judiciary has been restored after the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the country-wide release of controversial movie Padmaavat on January 25.
The apex court stayed notifications and orders issued by Rajasthan and Gujarat prohibiting exhibition of the lavishly- mounted period drama in their states.
Actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Rahul Dev, director Madhur Bhandarkar and author Chetan Bhagat took to social media to thank the court for its timely intervention.
“Best news of the day which restores faith in our democracy,” Khurrana wrote on Twitter.
Bhandarkar congratulated the team of the film for the breakthrough.
“I welcome the Honourable Supreme Court’s decision of withdrawing the ban on Padmaavat. Congrats to the entire team,” he tweeted.
Bhagat lauded the judgememt for protecting the freedom of expression.
“Great decision. Every story can’t be told how bullies want it. Artists, just as anyone else, have freedom to express in India. The states involved should respect decision and curb bullies,” he wrote.
Dev criticised the Haryana government for giving more importance to banning Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus over rapes of minors in the state.
“Five rapes of minors in three days and crime perpetrators are still free! While the BJP governed, Haryana CM is busy banning Padmaavat,” the actor wrote. He also demanded Haryana CM’s resignation with a hashtag, #KhattarStepDown.
The producers of Padmaavat, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, had approached the top court challenging the notification and orders issued by four states — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh — prohibiting exhibition of the film.
The states had declared that they will not allow screening of the movie which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, despite censor clearance.
The movie is based on Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmavat. The film releases in the UAE on January 25.