Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeOpinionsWhy Queen Padmini was real, and why protests against Padmavati movie is justified

Why Queen Padmini was real, and why protests against Padmavati movie is justified

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It is a known fact that history favours the winner. 5000 years ago, if the Kauravas had won the battle of Kurukshetra, then Mahabharata would have been written in a different way. We would have read about a valiant son Duryodhan who fought against his adopted cousins, who were trying to usurp the throne from their blind uncle.

The problem with written history is that it is most certainly erased very thoroughly by the victor. Nobody gets to hear the stories from the other side, we can only get some snippets of it from folktales and the bards. Historians conveniently brush it off.

Alexander came and conquered and left India, so the survivors wrote about the valour of Porus. When the Islamic Rulers came they came with their tawarrikhs, very much wanting to write about the heroics of their patrons. Why will the tawarrikh of Alauddin Khilji write that he was a cruel ruler? He will only write about what a superb administrative general he was all his military strategies.

And he will certainly not write about the Jauhar done by Rani Padmini in Chittor. The Chittor fort was defeated by Alauddin din Khilji. There were hardly any survivors, so naturally a lot of written history was also destroyed. That does not mean all the events and characters like Padmini were fictional.

Folktales and oral traditions by singers and artisans kept Padmini’s bravery alive. To say that the queen was a work of fiction by a poet is in very bad taste and hurts the sentiments of those who worship her.
Her act of Jauhar with the other ladies inspired many other brave ladies.

Somewhere Indian film industry has become very insensitive. Bhansali in his last movie showed a well respected warrior as a love lorn puppy. Well it was a blockbuster, but so much masala hurts the sentiments of those who care.

We should ask him which king of even a small kingdom makes his daughter dance in front of other kings as he made princess Mastani dance in front of Bajirao and her Father. And sends her off as a victory present. The film with the same cast fermented the seeds of doubt that he will do the same in Padmavati, and thus the protests without even seeing the film.

One can keep defending free speech, but what also needs to be defended is the tradition of oral history and the sentiments of those who were defeated. When did ‘liberalism’ mean taking side of the victor and mocking the vanquished?

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