(G.N.S) Dt. 25
The attack on a school bus in Gurgaon during Thursday’s protests against screening of Padmaavat movie was “very serious but there are also incidents which are blown out of proportion”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told media.
“So I think India is not about violence,” the Chief Minister, who is in Davos for the annual meeting of the World Economic Summit, said in an exclusive interview.
Mr Fadnavis’ remarks come against the backdrop of several incidents of violence by protesters demanding that the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie based on an epic poem should not be screened in theatres despite clearance from the censor board.
In at least four states including Gujarat and Rajasthan, the associations of multiplex owners have decided against screening the film to ensure that protesters did not damage the cinema halls. In Gujarat, a representative of the association, said they had been also approached by the Karni Sena, a Rajput group that started the protests, and other outfits such as the Bajrang Dal to boycott the film.
But it was the attack on school children travelling in a bus on Gurgaon that has led to a national outrage and exposed the ruling BJP government in Haryana to sharp attacks from Congress president Rahul Gandhi too.
In Maharashtra where the police had signalled they would come down heavily on protesters trying to obstruct the movie, there have been no reports of arson or violent protests. The Mumbai police, for instance, have not only deployed security personnel outside theatres screening the movie but also positioned them inside the theatre.
Alluding to his government’s track record over the last three years, Mr Fadnavis said “if you look at the overall law and order situation, or if you talk to the existing investors, in Maharashtra I have experienced, there are investors from Germany, British or the US, they have become our ambassadors”.
“They say in past 3 years, we have not experienced a single disruption,” Devendra Fadnavis, who has vowed to make Maharashtra a trillion-dollar economy in the next 7-8 years, said.