The Padmavati Row Makes Me Wonder If India Really Is Better Than Saudi Arabia

Posted by Kartikeya Jain in Culture-Vulture, Society
November 20, 2017

A few months ago, some right-wing politicians and their supporters claimed that intolerance is a false agenda. Some even said that at least India’s condition is better than Saudi Arabia.

Cut to today, India seems like one of the most intolerant nations. It doesn’t seem all that different from Saudi Arabia. A Rajput outfit called Karni Sena threatened violence against actress Deepika Padukone. This was followed by a man from Meerut declaring a bounty of ₹5 crore for beheading Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone.

Yes, you read that right. We, as a nation, with our law and order, allowed a bounty to be placed on a man’s head because he made a movie.

What baffles me more is that the police has not even issued a warrant against people of the said organisation. On top of that, instead of supporting the freedom of expression, Vasundhara Raje, the CM of Rajasthan has written to Smriti Irani so that the movie doesn’t release without cuts.

Founder of the Rajput Karni Sena Lokendra Singh Kalvi addresses a press conference on upcoming film Padmavati at Press Club of India on February 14, 2017 in New Delhi, India. (Image Credit: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Now, the question here is – how does a movie really hurt Rajput pride? How can a mere movie break the back of a community that has had its roots in India for thousands of years? Some Rajputs say that Bhansali has hurt Rajput pride by making a movie on Padmavati but they provide absolutely no proof of her existence apart from a small poem.

However, the bigger point here is, how is a person or an organisation able to issue open threats to another person? How can someone tell another person openly that they’re going to murder them?

Instead of moving towards the 22nd Century, we’re moving back to the 19th. Instead of focusing on issues that really matter, we are being made to fight for the sake of false pride.

The only tolerant people I see right now are the upholders of law and order in this country because they are being tolerant towards the criminals in Karni Sena. They think death threats are perfectly alright.

While Saudi Arabia is moving towards becoming a better country, India is moving backwards. It’s time we ponder where are we headed as a nation.