Why I am glad about Padmavati controversy
I am personally thrilled regarding the developments of Padmavati. These big and powerful directors and actors should get off their high horse and their elitism and assurance regarding how FoE will save them in this country– their overconfidence needs to become old. So I am quite pumped about how things are shaping. I am glad that the makers of Padmavati messed with one of the most daring communities of India – the esteemed and brave Rajputs who won’t back down from a good fight, a worthy fight. No matter how “barbaric and violent” the Rajputs’ claims sound (cutting off Deepika’s nose or threat to SLB’s life), try to understand where this anger stems from instead of dismissing them as violent. The Rajputs are ready to prove just how much they believe in their cause, in their community, in its historical truths, and just how much they are unwilling to allow the collective historical memory of their community to be tampered with because it suits a modern man’s secular agenda or imaginative fancies and whims.
Sometimes people do not understand how willingly ready and prepared you’d be to fight for what you believe in, for what is right, for defending the honour and image of your community – and people, like the ones that crowd Bollywood, will never understand this because they are part of the modern disease that has afflicted most of the urban beings in this country very strongly – liberalism and secularism – these are rootless people with no affinity to any group or any community – they don’t know what it’s like to fight for your people – there isn’t even the idea of “your people” – because these are self-alienated, rich people living in their bubbles – indifferent, arrogant, with no affinity to the soil they belong to – it doesn’t matter to them what the truth is – they are so blissfully comfortable in their hubris of not being held accountable and the comfortable idea that they will be saved by notions like Freedom of Expression and “creative license” and whatnot that they don’t even bother to be respectful and mindful of the truth anymore – truth is dispensable at the altar of money and fame. These people have lost their integrity.
Moreover they have the gall to say that we have regressed as a nation? If Miss Padukone’s idea of progress is “let me say and do anything without being held accountable for the fiction I am propagating and perpetuating” then it is a warped one and in much need of being checked and rectified. These people lack a social conscience – these are disconnected people – and the sad truth is that Deepika Padukone or SLB are merely two entities of this vast network of the film and television fraternity. I am extremely gladdened that their seat of power has been shaken so terribly this time. I am greatly thankful to the Rajput community to stand up for their truth and for defending their honour.
If Padmavati gets stalled this time because of the sheer togetherness and resolve of a community to fight for their truth, it will be a big achievement for India as a whole. Now imagine what would happen if Rajputs were supported by other communities increasingly and people got together in greater numbers? Scores of people like SLB will think a hundred times before making movies like Padmavati again, before showing a blatant disregard for historical facts and zero respect for others. They will no longer be all-powerful people wielding strange truths in the name of creativity and freedom of expression. They will be held accountable – their research, approach and attitude will be challenged and questioned. They will no longer be able to confidently peddle lies because it suits their agenda and sells their movie. They might actually have to care about what they are putting out in the world and how they will be taken to task if they mess with the truth.
It might just be a story for these moviemakers but for the community that actually suffered at the hands of Khilji, it was a lived reality, a painful experience – and to ignore their pain so that your imaginary story can be allowed to take birth, is downright spoilt and irreverent. Filmmakers need to drill this in their heads – nothing you make happens in a vacuum, each story carries historical, cultural, social or political traces – and to take your liberties with that is highly irresponsible behaviour that you definitely will be chastised for – so don’t mess with it. I genuinely hope Padmavati can be seen as a deterrent for future filmmakers with similar knack of distorting historical truths and making a mockery of it.