Once again a Bollywood film Padmavati is in news for hurting the sentiments of Rajputs. I should thank the high-profile director of the film Sanjay Leela Bansali for creating a controversy over the so-called untold story of Rani Padmavati of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. The real story about Padmavati is lesser known to the nation as a whole, as the so-called historians differ in their own thoughts as it suits them. I spoke to dozens of historians, journalists, intellectuals from Rajasthan to know about the real story. I read the views of the self-styled columnists of media, who have an agenda, which was clearly reflected in their writings about Padmavati. It is a well-known fact that the history of pre-independence era, which has been written by Britishers and read by all of us, is not always correct, and make us confused, as it aims at putting our valorous leaders and freedom fighters in bad light. There are hundreds of instances where our so-called historians fabricated stories to demoralise us by demeaning our proud history. Recently, one such story came to fore where the colonial historians have written about Buxi Jagabandhu that he surrendered before the British regime. But no one wrote under what situation the great warrior Buxi took that decision, and nowhere is it written that the great Paika Rebellion of Odisha was led by great Buxi. Those days history was written by the historians who were the paid-servants of the British regime, and our researchers are also not working to find out the truth. Our history has also become the biggest victim of caste factor. The caste war is tearing our social and political fabric. There are many unguided missiles in our society that claim themselves as intellectuals, but they are dividing our society to fulfil the wish of their political masters. The same caste clash is now being witnessed in Gujarat assembly elections where Patidars are claiming their slice of the pie in the quota system. Finally, the Congress falls into the trap of the Hardik Patel and company, just to gain votes.
Now, let’s discuss the film Padmavati. Before the release of the film, and before it goes to the censor board, Bhansali thought to show it to a few persons of his choice and all of them now say that there is nothing controversial in this film. Let’s believe them that there is nothing wrong in this film that would tarnish the image of the warrior Rajputs. Then who told the Rajputs that there are some scenes, where the then ruler of Delhi Alauddin Khilji is having a romance dream with Padmavati ? Why is the Karni Sena staging violent protests to ban the film? And even after the Supreme Court’s ruling that let first the censor board exercise its power to give justice to the image of the Rajputs, why did chief ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat decide to ban the film in their states? Just to control law and order? I don’t think so! In India, the problem with our governments is that they knowingly avoid to catch the real fringe elements, just for the obvious reasons we all know. When MF Hussain’s Gaza Gamini was released in 2000, the same sort of hue and cry was seen in India for obvious reasons. The film by MF Hussain was a rustic one and in my considered view, it should not be allowed in our society. The less we discuss about this film, the better it would be for healthy reading of our readers. Likewise, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is a celebrated director, is known for creating a controversy over the issues that malign the Indian culture, tradition and specially the image of Indian women. In India one is free to follow his or her own choice, but that does not mean, it would be accepted as Indian culture or tradition. The character of Padmini is well known. She never surrendered and fought till last along with her force against the ill wishes of Alauddin Khilji. In the end, she directed all the women in the fort to follow self-immolation, rather than surrendering before the Khilji . Indian women have a great tradition and one does not need certificates from our so-called historians. Rani of Jhansi Lakshmi Bai is not only another instance, but there are thousands of instances where our women have protected Indian tradition, culture and are instrumental in defending our nation. Mr Bhansali deserves kudos from all of us, if he has pious thoughts of popularising Rani Padmavati’s virtuous sacrifice. At least, the young generation would be able to know the warrior Padmavati who stood strong her ground against the evil design of Khilji.
By Deepak Kumar Rath