It is highly regrettable that the makers of the Bollywood film, ‘Padmaavat’ had to approach the Supreme Court in order for them to be able to release their film throughout the country. Once the Central Board of Film Certification had given the go-ahead, with certain cuts, of course, the State governments ought not to have tried to block its screening.
The SC on Thursday stayed the ban orders issued by the governments in Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Giving in to a few fringe groups, which falsely claim to speak for the entire people, was to surrender to blackmail and mob rule.
The makers of the film too enjoy fundamental rights. These cannot be curbed merely because one small section of the people takes to the streets, threatening violence and riots. If the State governments succumb under such threats, the majesty of the law will be in tatters and more and more fringe elements will feel emboldened to take the law into their own hands.
If those, who do not like the film, which does not claim to portray an actual historical event, they should not see it. But, they do not have any right to prevent other people from watching it. Mobs cannot be allowed to vet films. Let Padmaavat pass the popularity test on its own merit.