Dear Karni Sena, Do You Think A Mere Fictional Film Can Malign Rani Padmavati?

When I was in high school, history was my favourite subject. I learnt great details about the country and the world. I could mug it up and secure full marks. It was so straightforward. During those golden days of school, I read a chapter on Bajirao Peshwa, the great general of the Maratha empire.

To be honest, I just learnt about him, wrote an answer about him in the exam and forgot. Ten years down the lane, today I had no clue about his significance until I watched “Bajirao Mastani”, dedicated to the love story about Peshwa Bajirao and his muse Mastani.

Keeping aside the entertainment part, I came to know about a critical part of the history I had no clue. Of course, they were shown dancing and romancing on the screen, but  I feel that is quite obvious and necessary for a feature film. What I picked up (and later read more about it) was that he was the leader who never lost a battle. It is such an important and indispensable part of Indian history. The box office minted gold, and we got knowledge and a new pouch of information.

Now, fast forward to today and the entire fight and controversy about the yet to be released magnum opus “Padmavati”. If you are still confused about this weird controversy, it’s more about a religious group called ‘Karni Sena’ trying to attract attention by stating that this movie insults their great queen and it should not be released.

If I conform to the fact that there is freedom of expression given to the citizens by the country, it is not exactly wrong on the group’s part to appeal to stop the release of the movie. I do not completely abide by their arguments, but its ok, they have their reservations, and they should have the right to protest. On the other hand, the filmmakers, too have the full right to use this freedom. But what spins my head, is the fact that they are threatening the actor and the director with death threats!

A director can still be held responsible to a slight extent, but why target Deepika Padukone? How silly is that! Announcing a bounty to cut her nose off just because she seems to bring a disgrace to the Rajput’s family by playing the part of Rani Padmavati is ridiculously foolish.

How can a few communities who surfaces before the world only once, to protest about a movie that is historically based (but also said to be fiction) and insult another woman in the name of a fictional legend they think existed decades ago?

I respect their feelings but disgracing another woman in public is seriously inhuman. The recent incident of a body found hanging on a fort with something inscribed on a stone nearby, related to Padmavati has made this whole scenario scarier and gross.

If stories are believed, Rani Padmavati committed ‘Jauhar’ (self-immolation) so that Alauddin Khilji could not in any way have control over her. Can the bravery of such a legendary queen be tarnished in any way by portraying her in the reel life dancing; that too so gracefully as the actress in the movie does? Have people lost their senses completely?

I never knew that we are the owner of such a proud history. In a country where every other girl is molested, there is this woman who burnt herself alive so that she can save her honour. And these people think that great a legacy could be hampered just because of a fictional Bollywood film!?

The best part is that the so-called-history-saviours wants the nose and head of the beautiful lead actress, and none of them, I repeat none of them has even mentioned for the hands and limbs or even a hair of the other two important actors of the movie. Why? Will their image not be tarnished?

A lot of effort, hard work, sleepless nights, struggle and thought process goes behind such magnanimous piece of art. And coming into controversy this way, is utterly unfair.

It’s easy to point fingers at someone you think is wrong and does not act as per your opinions. It’s easy to blame someone just because you are bored and want some limelight. But it’s not at all cool to insult someone or promise thousands of rupees to freak out a woman and create such a ruckus just for a movie made for entertainment purpose, which may turn out be an informative piece for the audience.

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