Bhansali’s Padmavati fiasco – what it is and how it started

History is always a contentious issue. Some want it depicted their way and others just want to know the truth. While limited to scholarly and historic texts, history may well be preserved objectively, but when history crosses into the realm of drama and popular culture, the legacy emanating out of them sometimes threatens to overshadow the reality.

On Friday, Sanjay Leela Bhansali was roughed up outside Jaigarh fort in Jaipur by members of Karni Sena sena, who claimed that Bhansali had distorted the history of Rajashtan by allegedly depicting romance between Islamic ruler Alauddin Khilji and Rajput Queen Padmini. Bhansali was roughed up while he was shooting for his upcoming film Padmavati at that fort.

To very loosely describe history, in the year 1303 Alauddin Kihlji decided to attack Chittor of which Padmini was the Queen. Historians claim that his intention behind the attack was his infatuation for the queen. Khilji won the battle and rather than getting captured by him and his forces queen Padmini chose to commit Jauhar that is self-immolate herself in order to protect her honor.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Even if one considers the claim that Padmini was a fictional character who first appeared in Malik Mohd Jaisi’s poem Padmavati in 1540 – 200 years after the actual events – she has over time become a symbol of women committing Jauhar in order to spare themselves the tyranny of Sultanate rulers. Furthermore, the claim of Padmini/Padmavati being a fictitious character itself is disputed, however, we are agreeing to that for the sake of argument.

Coming to the film and the controversy around it, Deepika Padukone plays the role of Queen Padmini and Ranveer Singh plays the role of Khilji. Just back in around November 8th there were reports in the national media which claimed that there was to be no romance between the duo. The reports cited historical inaccuracies arising due to the same and that Bhansali was very sensitive towards people’s sentiments.

The episode could have been avoided but the regional media clearly didn’t get the message and ran reports of Deepika and Ranveer romancing and warring in Vaishali.  This report was carried on November 8th by widely circulated Dainik Jagran group which has higher penetration and influence among the masses and could have possibly led to many people believing that a Bollywood filmmaker was planning to twist history in such a manner where the Queen they so revered was being depicted having a romance with a man who was actually responsible for her death. It remains to be seen as to from where the Karni Sena got their information. Also, some Rajput groups had tried to get in touch with Bhansali to get clarification, but it is not clear if there was any communication back from the filmmaker.

However, one can not blame people for believing that history could be twisted, for it has become fashionable to gloss over the crime of tyrants and portray them as acceptable mainstream characters. this was evident after how Tipu Sultan’s birthday was celebrated by the Karnataka Government, the Taimur episode or how effort was put in to normalize even Aurangzeb.

Now, Deepika and other actors have claimed that there is no distortion of history. But it remains to be seen how the movie portrayed Khilji. Would he depict Khilji indulging in usual tyranny like collecting 50,000 slave boys, 20,000 women and children, ensuring that countless women committed Jauhar, imposing jizya (poll tax), kharaj (land tax), kari (house tax) and chari (pasture tax) on Hindus, etc.?

Contributor at OpIndia.com,
Wish to write a great trilogy someday!

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Here is why BJP lost elections, and of course, it was deliberate

What BJP supporters need to realise is this - no political party ever wants to lose and least of all, a party led by the two most politically aggressive politicians the country has ever seen.

India cannot turn into Islamic Nation, only Modi can understand gravity and do needful: Meghalaya HC

There should be uniform law for all Indian citizens, and anybody opposing the Indian laws and constitution cannot be considered as citizens of the country, Meghalaya High Court noted

BJP’s real woes: Lessons from the electoral semi-finals

The prolonged silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on election results was very telling. The results were clearly unexpected and possibly led to prolonged internal discussions on the future course of action.
It is time for Congress and Gandhi Family mukt Bharat

Why Congress-mukt Bharat is still very much in progress

It is time BJP supporters understand the meaning of the term 'Congress-mukt Bharat'.

Can the BJP satisfy its online supporters? If only it were Congress

BJP supporters online, also known as the ‘right wing’, are first to attack the party and write it off after electoral setbacks.

BJP may be weaker than it was in 2014, but Congress is not as strong as projected either

If Congress has not forgotten the 1996 elections, they would very well know they are on a sticky wicket here.

Mayawati extends support to Congress for Madhya Pradesh, may consider Rajasthan ‘to keep BJP out of power’

She said to defeat BJP in Rajasthan, too, BSP will extend support to Congress.

Has PM Modi sounded the start of slog overs with the new RBI Governor’s appointment

Shaktikanta Das, who is currently a member of The Finance Commission and Former Finance Secretary (the one who presided over Demonetisation), has been appointed as the new RBI Governor by the Modi government

Demystifying Civil Society: Organization linked to ‘Urban Naxals’ wants schools to teach ‘Human Rights Education’

Federation for Human Rights (FPR) urged the government of Puducherry to introduce "Human Rights Curriculum" in the school curriculum in the Union Territory.

Madhya Pradesh: Twitterati showers praises at Shivraj Singh Chouhan as he gracefully concedes defeat

The BJP stalwart, Shivraj Singh Chouhan took the sole responsibility for the BJP’s defeat in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,562FansLike
97,580FollowersFollow
6,058SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these