Malaysia bans Indian film ‘Padmaavat’ for negative depiction of Muslim ruler

Malaysia has banned a controversial Bollywood film Padmaavat for its portrayal of Muslim King Alauddin Khilji as a cruel, cunning and arrogant ruler. The release of the 14th century period drama had been blocked for months in India for depicting Rajput queen Padmini, the protagonist of the film, in poor light hurting the sentiments of Rajput community who revere her as a goddess. The protests in northern India against the screening of the film lost steam after the Supreme Court rejected  petitions to ban the film. After the film’s release, the main protesters Karni Sena were surprised to find that the film glorifies the valour of Rajputs. They withdrew their agitation on Saturday (Jan 3). In another twist to the controversial movie, Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday said the film would not be screened in cinemas  across the Muslim-majority nation because of the “negative” portrayal of Alauddin Khilji, the Strait Times reported. A trailer of Padmaavat shows the Muslim sultan in an aggressive mood, his face smeared with blood and mud. Bollywood films are popular in Malaysia where ethnic Indians make up 7% of the country’s population.