Asia-Pacific, India, Opinion

Padmaavat: Dividing India the Karni Sena Way!

Growing up in India, as a typical Bollywood lover, I ask Hindu religious groups – Why did you do that?

The story begins with an announcement by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, an eminent Indian movie maker, who has been touching our hearts since forever. The announcement of his next big project – Padmaavati, oops! Padmaavat, with his favorite duo Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. As soon as the shooting for the movie began in Rajasthan, members of the Rajput Karni Sena have been making it a difficult task to produce something so enigmatic, that they eventually were supposed to love!

How stupid of us all, we destroy things without thinking twice, only to end up falling in love with the ruins!

I personally, am a lover of the way Sanjay Leela Bhansali portrays his movies. They are not movies, they are sheer poetry! All his stories, all his imagination is woven together so intricately, it gives nothing but pleasure to our hearts. But, it is not just me, it is probably the whole of India since over a year now; we only have one question to the Rajput Karni Sena – WHY?

Padmaavat: Fact or Fiction?

Before you begin to wonder what is this article about, let me fill you in!

The movie Padmaavat(i) is based on a 16th-century sufi ballad by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, which talks about the exhilarating beauty of a Rajput Queen Padmaavati. (Note the keyword – FICTION). Coming back! We have no idea if there really was a Queen Padmaavati, it might simply be a folklore, to be honest. The story, the ballad spoke about was fascinating. It has been adapted many times since its origin in the 16th century and has been celebrated among the Rajputs as an element of pride and honour.

Queen Padmaavati is said to have committed “Jauhar” which is also known as a ritual self-immolation performed by various Rajput women in the Indian history. They literally build pyres for themselves and jump into them. Why? In order to save their honour from the evil hands. Queen Padmaavati did so too. She did so in order to save her pride from Alauddin Khilji, a Muslim ruler, who was pure evil. Alauddin Khilji is said to have besieged Chittorgarh in order to “have” her, her beauty in front of him 24×7. He even killed her husband, Maharawal Ratan Singh to have the same.

However, over the years, the actual story has been changed too many times. There have been multiple versions of the story all over. This fictionalisation has led to uproar and controversies among all kinds of religious and political groups. This fictionalisation has been said to have “damaged” Rajput “pride”.

The Padmaavat Controversy

Mass protests were witnessed in India due to the same. For months the Karni Sena has been leading various destructive campaigns against Padmaavat, spreading violence all over; all for a period film that is based on something which is fictional. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has said to allegedly have tarnished the “pride” and “honour” of the Rajputs. Moreover, it has been alleged that the movie stars and the filmmaker have maligned the valour of Queen Padmaavati.

Now, in the name of protecting their honour, bravery, and valour, over something which is completely fictional, the Rajput Karni Sena have done the following acts of “bravery”:

  • They vandalised a school bus, full of little kids (talk about bravery!). A school bus was attacked in Gurugram, where children are seen to be terrified and have been crouching on the floor to protect themselves. Moreover, they blamed Bhansali later to have attacked the school bus full of children.
  • They have set multiple public and private vehicles on fire, in the name of protests.
  • Literally trying to stop the release of a movie in a supposedly free India, moreover trying to stop people from enjoying freedom of speech and expression.
  • They have also been assaulting and threatening to kill not just Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but also Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.
  • The Rajput Lovers, who are said to treat women with dignity and respect send out threats to Deepika Padukone over her life, and rewards for anyone who could cut her nose! Their hypocrisy I tell you!

– Talking about women, before the release of the movie, there were about a 100 or 200 women who threatened people to commit the brave act of “Jauhar” in order to protest against the film. (if you ask me, they ruined the act of valor this way! Also, they were nowhere to be found once the movie was released.)

Padmaavat vs. The Rajput Karni Sena

The question still exists, why the Rajput Karni Sena did that?

They spread unrest and violence in the country and in the lives of the people behind the movie, only to realise how beautiful the movie is later!

The movie was so beautifully cinematographed, only to portray the actual pride of the Rajputs. The movie, especially the scene where Deepika is involved in a Jauhar herself, is going to give you goosebumps. The movie did nothing wrong but showed us what true valor and honor meant to the people in history.

When I think about the movie, I feel, we cannot even think of matching the prowess and bravery of the people in the past. We can do nothing, literally. No matter how hard we try, and claim ourselves to be true worshipers and followers of some “clan” or “group”, we cannot do what they did. Rajput Karni Sena forgot this point too, I guess. They merely made a mockery of themselves and their ancestors, a sheer joke in the name of being “prideful” and “brave”. Perhaps they need a new dictionary to look up the real meaning of the words.

The Rajput pride was celebrated all over the country, but then Karni Sena intervened and divided our opinions, our India into two segments – Good and evil.

I ask them, what is the difference between Alauddin Khilji and you? Where was your dignity and honor when a bus full of children lost their faith in humans? Where was your valor when you sent out death threats and vandalized the streets in the name of nothing?

About Saumya Khanduja

A cat lover, a book lover, and a beach lover: Saumya is all shades of being human. A sociology graduate from India, who spends most of her time writing. Outside the realm of the web, she loves cooking, sketching, and listening to the cello. A Game Of Thrones enthusiast, she might be small, but can "slay" you!

All Articles