Prasoon Joshi skips Jaipur Literature fest, Karni Sena delighted

CBFC chief Prasson Joshi pulled off the Jaipur Literature festival in the wake of threats from the Karni Sena over ‘Padmaavat’ row. Karni Sena was highly miffed with Joshi after the film was given U/A certification.

The Shree Rajput Karni Sena was delighted with Joshi’s decision of opting out of the fest, saying that possibly the CBFC chief was “repenting for his mistake at how he had hurt the sentiments of Rajputs”.

“Will not be attending JLF this year and must say will miss sharing great moments with literature and poetry lovers. I am doing this so that the dignity of the event does not get compromised or discomfort caused either to the organisers, fellow writers or the attendees. And also so that the lovers of literature get to focus on creativity and not controversy,” Joshi said in a statement mailed by the public relations agency of JLF.

Karni Sena spokesperson Vijendra Singh said, “This comes as good news for us. We are glad that he respected the request of Karni Sena and cancelled his scheduled visit.”

Prasson Joshi further tried to clarify his stance on ‘Padmaavat’, he said, “The issue around the film Padmaavat - I did my job and sincerely took a sensitive and balanced call. As I have said earlier, certification was done with due processes, incorporating valid suggestions whilst staying mindful to the concerns of the society as well as to the canvas of cinema. It’s sad that we are not relying on genuine peaceful dialogue. It’s important that we keep mutual trust and faith in each other and our institutions so that the issues don’t reach this far.”

On January 19, a day after Supreme Court ordered all India release of ‘Padmaavat’, the Shri Rajput Karni Sena had warned Joshi against attending the Jaipur Literature Festival. “We don’t want to hear his lecture. He has put the pride of Rajasthan at stake. How can he deliver a lecture here after humiliating us? People of Rajasthan don’t want such lectures. We will protest against him,” president of the group Mahipal Singh Makrana had said.

Meanwhile, noted author Chetan Bhagat hailed Prasoon Joshi’s decision.

"Prasoon is a friend of mine. We all love JLF and do not want to bring any disrepute to the festival. Prasoon took the right decision. I would have done the same if I were him. Why give free importance to anyone? People and children who have come here are interested in books, why turn this wonderful atmosphere into a political issue. That is why he perhaps did what he did," Bhagat said.