Most Rajasthan movie halls refuse to screen 'Jodhaa Akbar'

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Mumbai, Feb 15 : The Ashutosh Gowarikar directed film 'Jodhaa Akbar' was released across the country on Friday, except in Rajasthan.

Rajput groups blocked the screening of the movie accusing Gowarikar of distorting history.

At least 30 cinema halls in the desert State, including nine in Jaipur, refused to screen the movie fearing reprisal from groups like the Karni Sena. The Sena is reported to have written letters in blood and submitted them to the owners of several cinema halls, saying they and the BJP-led Government in the State would be responsible for the consequences arising out of its screening.

According to them, Jodhaa was the daughter of Udai Singh of Marwar and was married to Salim, Akbar's son. But the film shows Jodhaa as Akbar's wife.

Gowarikar claimed he had the backing of historians and the royal family of Jodhpur.

On Wednesday, the Rajasthan High Court dismissed a petition on seeking restraining orders on Rajput Sabha and the Karni Sena leaders, but asked the State Government to maintain law and order. The State Home Department has not banned the film, but has taken appropriate security measures.

The marriage of Emperor Akbar with the Hindu princess Hira Kunwari has fascinated India for 450 years, and the makers of 'Jodhaa-Akbar' say they want to show how the couple broke cultural and religious barriers.

The film features Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.

"The entire team is very excited because the time has come for us to share the film with the audience," said Rai, who stars as Hira Kunwari.

Thirty-nine-year-old Gowarika said he agreed to do the film when he realised there was little in history about the Akbar and Jodhaa relationship.

"I've waited for three years to make the film," said Gowarikar.

Abhishek Bachchan also wished the team luck, saying he was expecting a 'wonderful' film.

"I expect a lot. Not only is it my wife's film, but there's Ashutosh and my good friend Hrithik. I've seen the hard work they've put into the film. I'm expecting a wonderful film which I'm sure it will be," he said.

Its release postponed twice, "Jodhaa-Akbar" is eagerly awaited by an audience already teased with trailers and posters of the Mughal era, complete with massive battlefield settings with elephants and horsemen, regalia and exotic costumes.

ANI

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