As “Padmaavat” Approaches Release, Karni Sena Launches A Vicious Assault

Posted by shakeel ahmad in Culture-Vulture, Politics
January 24, 2018

“Padmaavat” must be shown, the Supreme Court said – adding that people should understand that a ruling must be complied with. Meanwhile, the Shree Rajput Karni Sena has named a 6-member panel to watch the film ahead of its release.

Though its patron Lokendra Kalvi has repeatedly opposed the screening of the film, there seems to be some change in their attitude. The Rajasthan government was left with no other choice than maintaining law and order.

Despite securing a screening certificate from the censor board and the apex court’s order for the film’s release on Thursday, the film is facing significant antagonism. There has been no let-up in the violent demonstrations at different places. The Karni Sena chief, Lokendra Kalvi, has castigated the film producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the film censor board for going against the sentiments of the Rajputs.

More than this, women have come forward, threatening that they will commit jauhar if the film is screened. In this regard, as many as 1,908 women have ‘registered’ themselves for mass self-immolation. Furthermore, Mahipal Singh Makrana appealed to the army to stay away from the food given in their mess to respect the sentiments of Rajput women.

Is not the consistent disapproval of the film most considerable? What is up with the BJP-ruled states, which can protest ferociously? In my opinion, there is an excess that’s being committed in the name of Rajput sentiments. The state governments remain a mute spectator on the issues most dear to the Karni Sena (and other such parties) which seem to be above government orders.

First and foremost, they deny the charges levelled – but then, they oppose and spew venom against the matter at hand, with the same energy. The BJP speaks about controlling the people who are behind the protests. They consider that reviewing the stance to screen “Padmaavat” is acceptable, but at the same time, they keep mum on Karni Sena’s sour vandalism.

The film’s initial title “Padmavati” was changed to “Padmaavat” – but the protests are not subsiding. What one group wants to emphasise upon is not valued by another dissenting group. Therefore, how could there be a middle course to what we are looking for, or fighting against?

Historically, a number of Muslim rulers established good relations with the Rajputs, and even considered them valourous.  That was a period of medieval India. In today’s circumstances, however, the Rajputs seem to be holding a dominant position in the nation’s politics. The BJP seeks electoral returns by supporting the community in states like Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

A substantial increase in the number of protests makes one feel that the situation is tilting towards the protestors’ side. In such a situation, the central government seems prostrated in carrying out what it needs to, currently.