GEORGE TOWN: Putrajaya today defended its decision to ban “Padmaavat”, saying the Bollwood film’s depiction of a Muslim ruler gives a bad impression of Islam.
This comes after the Film Appeal Committee rejected an appeal by the movie’s Malaysian distributors to lift the ban.
Padmaavat, which stars Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, tells the love story of a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler in medieval India.
The government said the character of Sultan Alauddin Khilji in the movie was depicted as “arrogant, cruel and inhumane”.
This, said the home ministry, was bad for Islam’s image as the sultan was shown as representing an Islamic sultanate.
Sultan Alauddin was from the Khilji dynasty that ruled India between 1296 and 1316.
Padmaavat was scheduled for release in over 90 cinemas nationwide on Jan 25.
Antenna Entertainments had reportedly estimated RM5 million in box-office takings in Malaysia.
Last week, the Film Censorship Board announced the movie would not be allowed to be screened in local cinemas.
The movie also drew protests from Hindu fundamentalist groups in India, who said the filmmakers were “distorting history” by showing Muslim ruler Sultan Alauddin as the “lover” of Padmavati, who belonged to the Rajput warrior clan.
India’s censorship board has however passed the film, after asking for its title to be changed to Padmaavat from the original Padmavati. It said the change was to show that the movie was a fiction.