The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to give Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmavati" a UA certificate and has suggested the director change the film's title to "Padmavat".
Pahlaj Nihalani, the former chief of the Central Board of Film Certification, has attributed the timing of the announcement to the relative calm over the issue.
"The film faced so many controversies even before people saw it. This decision could have been taken before the film was opposed by people and political parties in several states," he said.
"This film was sidelined by the CBFC and it raises question on the Censor Board. Producers suffered such huge losses because of the cuts. Vote bank politics has obviously been done, the film is being seen after elections. Chairman faced pressure from the ministry," Nihlani added.
Nihalani, who had his fair share of controversies as censor board chief, said the censor board was under pressure from "all quarters", but should not have delayed watching the movie.
"Why did it (censor board) delay watching the movie? It is a questionable thing. We go according to the queue.... There was pressure on the CBFC from all quarters. Political motives were involved behind delaying it... Hindi cinema suffers because of politics," he told News 18.
Taking a dig at the Karni Sena and other outfits opposing the release of Padmavati, Nihalani said, "People who are concerned with history will be never be bothered with a film based on history."
According to a release issued by the CBFC, the board had a meeting of their examining committee on December 28 and decided to give the film a "UA certification along with some modifications and likely change of the film's title on the basis the attributed material/creative source".
The board also suggested modifications in disclaimers, pertinently adding one regarding not glorifying the practice of "Sati" and also relevant changes in the song "Ghoomar" to befit the character portrayed, the release further stated.