Dear Karni Sena,
I know little about what the Karni Sena is, and how accepted it is in the Rajput community. And to be frank, I know even less about the pride and might of the Rajput clan.
Your maturity is the first that I and many others like me are seeing from ‘your’ community. Burning buses, cutting noses, digging graves, vandalising pre-schools and buying political support is justified after all when it comes to defending history (read it as ‘mythology’ if you can)!
But has it ever occurred to you that you could be on the wrong side of history this time, if not before?
You have put yourself in a situation, where the only defamation case that you can file by the end of this episode is against you, yourself. And I will not be the judge here – telling whether your history has been distorted or not, the ‘izzat’ of your mother Padmavati has been tarnished or not, but what I know for sure is that the ‘pride and respect’ of your community is getting compromised as you pursue this battle with this zest of yours.
Coming to what you have always wanted to hear – is Sanjay Leela Bhansali at fault?
Yes. He is very much at fault. At fault for not consulting you or any other related fringe group before finalising the script. At least, he should have tracked the great-great-great grandchildren of Padmavati (only if you could tell him how many ‘greats’ to put in there) to get a no-objection certificate so that he could proceed with the script. Yes, he was at fault for being naive to think that democracy and the freedom of an artist will never be compromised by the (in)tolerance of our society. He was stupid to think that our politicians, who talk with pride on international platforms about us being the world’s largest democracy, would save him from the jaws of power you have given them.
But let me tell you what would have happened to you if you did this in some other democracy? (Exclude your favourite hate partner Pakistan)
To begin with, you would have been behind bars on the very day you slapped Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The ‘havelis’ where you sit and smoke those soothing hookas would have been attached as a security against the public property damages you have done in the past couple of days. The National Security Act and Sedition Act of 1870, which are currently getting misused by your beloved ‘netas’ to suppress dissent against them, would have been used against you – the real enemies of the state and society.
But, lucky you! A fractured country like ours will never rise against you and the political powers that allegedly support you – Raje, Chouhan, Rupani, Khattar and Yogi. Neither will we ever hold a peace march in solidarity with the horrors you have inflicted on those school children whose bus and schools you have attacked. We will never unite to stop you from repeating what you did with Jodha Akbar and now with Padmavati, and surely won’t ever despise the Rajputs in the same way we despise Muslims for ISIS and Kashmiris for the stone pelters. So, carry on!
But remember, for the sane minds out there – who still exist (definitely not in the form of politicians), you are the real anti-nationals. And I appeal to every one of those progressive citizens of this country, especially the Rajputs to come forward and raise their voice against fringe groups like Karni Sena and let them know that the values of a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic will not be taken hostage that easily.