Why the movie ‘Padmawati’ is facing protests, one must not reject everything as ‘fascism’

There’s an insidious campaign to project Padmini as a mythical figure, a creation of Malik Mohammad Jaisi, writer of epic Padmavat. The TV channels, after being propped up by the Bollywood chatterati, has tasked upon themselves to give the certificate of credibility to the historical fiction being served by Sanjay Leela Bhansali as a movie based on the Jauhar of 1303 in Chittorgarh when attacked by Allauddin, the Sultan of Delhi.

The movie prefaces the entire build up on Jaisi’s epic poem wherein a courtier by name of Raghav disgraced by Rawal Ratan Singh, ruler of Mewar went to the court of Allauddin and told him about the beauty of Padmini or Padmavati.

Jaisi in his epic has used all the imagination which can be ascribed to his genius by telling that Padmavati belong to SinhalDweep or Ceylon or Srilanka. A poet can be allowed to run wild with his imagination but a historical movie made on the story needs better corroboration than just the excuse of Artistic Creativity and FoE, whatever that may mean to be Left Liberal elites.

In fact, Padmini belonged to Pugal, Bikaner and was a Bhati Rajput, her maternals were the Sonigurras of Jalore of Biram Dev fame. Because, Jaisi took the liberty of creativity in his poem doesn’t mean that Sanjay Leela would distort the story to meet his commercial interests.

It maybe premature to criticise SLB for Padmavati having not seen the movie but if the fears expressed by the Rajputs and other Hindu organisations are anything Leela Bhansali should have shown the movie to the selected committee of people, Rajputs, historians and organisations.

If Bhansali can show the movie to selected TV channels who do his and Bollywood bidding, he may well have shown it to others to curb the violent threats, arson, law and order situations. There seems to be a well thought out and designed conspiracy to promote the film through controversies, by outrageous statements by the actors, with the Chatterati playing the role of FoE saviours. The judge, the jury and the prosecution the over the counter shouting anchors of Prime Time TV.

Another reason why this film has created such a backlash from the Rajputs and other Hindu organisations is the fact that there’s a feeling of victim hood among the majority community in general and the Rajputs in particular. The picturisation of Rajputs as villains, cruel Zamindars, lecherous and the exploiting class has reached an end. The community feels aggrieved and abused by such vile picturisation.

Yet another reason is that unlike other communities, Rajputs are proud inheritors of a lineage running a thousand years with corroborated evidences in our records kept from posterity. It’s not just another story adapted for a film. It’s the history of their forefathers who gave their lives for the nation and the Dharma. Leela Bhansali must have discounted the outrage over a film after all Bajirao a similarly distorted film saw very little protests. Bajirao, the bravest of Peshwas and Marathas was lampooned as a manic lover who could not come to terms with his love for Mastani, daughter of a concubine of Chatrsal, the Bundela chief.

SLB should have kept his promise of pre-viewing Padmavati for the Rajput community, it would have solved the entire problem but I think SLB has deliberately obfuscated the issue for cheap promotion of the film Padmavati. The political parties are bound to jump in where a prominent vote is disillusioned with the system and wants to assert itself with more than peaceful manner.

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