With the Karni Sena hooligans out on the streets to protest against the release of movie Padmaavat, theatre owners in Gurugram, Haryana, have decided that it is better to be safe than sorry.
Notices stating that "We are not screening Padmaavat movie" could be seen at PVR Cinemas in Gurugram's Ambience Mall on Thursday. From theatre owners' point of view, there is a lot at stake. No owner would want Karni Sena goons to enter the hall and damage the property.
Especially in Haryana, the Manohar Lal Khattar regime does not seem too eager to stamp down anti-Padmaavat protests. Khattar's repeated assurances to provide security to movie halls came only after the Supreme Court barred states from banning the movie.
Even Khattar's statement following the order was not something that would encourage movie halls to go ahead with the screening of Padmaavat.
"If someone decides not to screen the film it will be good but if someone screens the film, they will be provided security. It is our duty to comply with Supreme Court's order," Khattar had told the media on Monday.
"If someone decides not to screen the film it will be good" clearly shows that his government does not actually want halls to screen the movie, but the CM cannot clearly say it because of the SC order.
Ambiance Mall in Gurugram
Even the attitude of some states would not encourage hall owners to confidently go ahead and screen the movie despite the protests.
Notice at the entrance of PVR cinema in Ambiance Mall
It all clearly shows that there is a lack of will to come down hard at Karni Sena's brazen attempt to hold society at ransom and curb freedom of expression by resorting to violence.
Security outside a movie hall in Ahmedabad
Meanwhile, the pleas have been filed by Tehseen Poonawalla and Vineet Dhanda, an advocate. The petitioners sought action against the Karni Sena and others disrupting law and order.
A cinema hall in Varanasi
The Supreme Court had rejected a plea demanding a ban on the film. It said that once the movie is certified by the censor board, there is no question of banning the film. The states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh had once again petitioned the SC seeking review of the order. However, the court rejected the same stating it is the constitutional duty of the states to ensure that law and order are maintained.
(Images credit - ANI/Twitter)