Is it right to oppose the film Padmavati?

Padmavat Protest: 2 sides of a coin

1st side- Heads

The Padmavat protest is a relentless struggle between creative freedom and preserving the culture. Indian cinema/TV and especially Bollywood has a liking for distortion of the historical facts in the name of artistic and creative liberty. They take any historical feature and then create movies only through lens of a single script of love story I’ll share few examples.

  • Amrapali- The movie depicts a romantic love track of King Ajatshatru played by Sunil Dutt with a commoner girl played by Vaijayantimala. As per historical info, Ajatshatru’s father Bimbisar had a mention of a romance with a common girl.
  • Mughal-e-Azam- There were no authentic facts to substantiate Jodhabai as Akbar’s wife. Jahangir revolted against Akbar, however, his love interest was not the main reason. The character of Jahangir played by Dilip Kumar was like various lover boy roles played by Shahrukh Khan. Akbar’s character was along the lines of Amitabh Bachchan of Mohabbatein.
  • Ashoka- considered as a great king, the movie depicted a love-struck Ashoka falling in love with ladies. A renowned name in the Indian history, whose conquered nearly everything was showcased as a lover boy. Even the famous awakening of peace was relegated to the last 1-minute scene.
  • Mangal Panday- Amir Khan played Mangal Pandey & his character had relations with a prostitute played by Rani Mukherjee. Another case of fake love track being included in the movie.
  • Jodha Akbar- There is no denying fact that Akbar was better and liberal king as compared to other Mughal kings, although, he was never like as Hrithik Roshan portrayed in the movie. The movie, set, lead characters, screenplay were simply outstanding, but a complete distortion of the history.
  • Mohenjodaro- Another waste attempt, If a director like Ashutosh Gowariker really wanted to showcase a typical love story with dance, songs & a kiss and followed by cliched revenge plot. He should have presented a moden day story rather than naming it Mohenjodaro. His aspirational and even historically inaccurate creative expressions led to a massive loss of around 50 crores to the production team of this movie.
  • Bajirao Mastani- Great Bajirao was a heroic character in our history. He won 41 battles and without any loss. If you exempt initial 15 minutes of the movie, the otherwise grand movie was a typical love story of Bajirao and Mastani. The history was distorted at his best. Bajirao danced to the victory song. Kashibai and Mastani dancing together like Madhuri and Aishwarya danced in the Devdas movie. Bajirao’s death scene was similar to Shahrukh’s death scene in the Devdas. Kashibai had a major problem in her leg and led her life mostly bedridden, this fact was removed as per convenience. The entire movie was hue and cry about internal tussle of Bajirao’s family with Mastani, which was not the case. Mastani never died before Bajirao as shown in the movie. Above all Mastani’s son participated in the 3rd battle of Panipat against the Abdali and died fighting for Maratha’s.

Padmavati- initial tussle between actors

I feel no need to mention about Padmavat or Rani Padmini or Padmavati as it mentioned in media and even in 100’s of answers several times. Bhansali wanted to make a movie on the strong characterization of Alauddin Khilji and as well as Rani Padmini. As a matter of fact, his initial casting was Ranveer Singh, Deepika and Vicky Kaushal as Rana in a cameo “Deepika Padukone refuses to work with TV actor, Vicky quits Padmavati?”.

Here, I doubt his intentions: Ranveer Singh is a bigger hero, he should have got the role of Rana and not a newbie like Vicky Kaushal. Deepika denied to work against a small time actor. Shahid came on the board with some conditions like equal screen time with Ranveer Singh “‘Padmavati’ script changed for Shahid kapoor –”. Now Ranveer became furious and asked Bhansali to show him the updated script ”Ranveer asked for Padmavati script from Bhansali after Shahid came on board?″. Bhansali got annoyed with his protegee and wanted to throw him out of the movie. He approached Shahrukh Khan for Khilji’s role. Shahrukh was apprehensive and told him to curtail the negativities of the Khilji’s character as it will not suit the Shahrukh’s loyal audience as well as to change the name of the movie ”Shah Rukh Khan suggested a major change to the title of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati”. Finally, Deepika acted and pacified Singh that at the end of the day the appreciation of movie usually goes to the menacing negative character. Also, Ranveer’s acting capabilities will not be doubted. Padmavat became a 2 hero movie, however, lead stars were , of course, Ranveer Singh and Deepika. Shahid’s last movie Rangoon was a commercial disaster.

Few people may think that I have added a fake story, so I have added the various links as artifacts.

How an idiotic statement from carefree Ranveer Singh fueled this monster Padmavat controversy

During an interview, Ranveer said “ he could go two notches beyond playing the role of a villain if he is given two intimate scenes with the lead female character in the film. This news went to Karni Sena and became a flashpoint. Karni Sena contacted Bhansali on email, phone and even delegation went to meet Bhansali in Mumbai, but no response. Bhansali and team responded when they were supposed to shoot in Jaipur. Now a rumor of a potential dream sequence of Deepika and Ranveer’s character created the ruckus on the sets and Bhansali got few slaps.

Bhansali and production team’s CEO promised that they will show their movie prior to release with related groups like Mewar royal family and even with Karni Sena, which they never did. Bhansali and team deliberately showcased the movie to likes of Rajat Sharma and Arnab Goswami to build a strong case with media. With the release of the trailer and Ghoomar song where Deepika as Rani Padmini was seen dancing with inappropriate historical clothes as claimed by the Rajput groups. This controversy has snowballed into a mess and violent protest. Although now script is modified and trailer gave prominence to Rajput valour and Shahid and Deepika’s screen time enhanced at the cost of the original hero Ranveer Singh. Bhansali has denied any scene featuring Deepika and Ranveer.

Now a question arises- Is any movie so impactful, that, it can destroy the cultural and historical heritage.

There would be mixed opinion on it, however, my answer would be yes. Movies/TV have a large audience and technically audio & video visuals have best recall value. General people will believe what they see in the movies. In the future, generations will sympathize with anti-nationals like Haseena Parker, Abdul Latif as they were portrayed in a positive manner in the movies like Haseena, Raees. People will also think criminal like Manya Surve as a student who got 70% in the graduation and was forced to choose a like of career, as portrayed in the Shootout at Wadala.

Recently, I was having a debate with my friend on favorite Mahabharat topic, who was better warrior Karna or Arjuna. My friend told me that without any doubt it was Karna, as he spared Arjuna’s life on 16th day of the war and it was only Sunset which saved his life. I said that is an incorrect info. He said no. I told him this no such event is mentioned in BORI critical edition, KMG Mahabharat, C Rajagopalachari Mahabharat ( all authentic and unabridged version of great Mahabharat ). He said: who has the time and energy to read such books, I saw that in BR Chopra Mahabharat and similarly on lots of Youtube videos and I believed it. I tried to finish the debate by telling him that the event showcased in the serial was fake, youtube videos were not reliable. I realized that’s power of movies/cinema- people/audience believe whatever creative fraternity wants to showcase, without doubting or willing to cross-check the accuracies ( who has the time and interest )

Now My question to the filmmakers:

  1. Why you people choose Hindu culture and Hindu Gods to mock- Because Hindus are liberal and they are relatively tolerant.
  2. You can easily escape and showcase a caricature playing Shiva which was locked in the washroom by Amir’s character. Can you even think to showcase a caricature of Mohammad or Christ being locked in the washroom by film’s hero.
  3. Mr Bhansali can you announce a movie on the relationship of Mohammad and Ayesha. Even such rumor would be enough for you to get fatwas from entire India and across the world. The D company will send its Turks to eliminate you. Ram is our God and you chose to name your movie Ram-Leela ( later it was modified after protests ). The same movie was about love, sex, and violence.
  4. A Malayam movie maker has chosen the name of his movie as “Sexy Durga”. How many in India do not know that Durga is our goddesses. This is indeed a deliberate attempt to gain popularity by controversy. “Naming the film ‘Sexy Durga’ was wrong. It was asking for trouble
  5. Its high time Bollywood/Indian cinema should stop distorting historical facts in the name of creativity. It is also known fact that Bollywood movies are sourced from Dubai and there are many Left influenced filmmaker like Anurag Kashyap work here. He can easily showcase that “Bharat Mata ki Jai” ( as shown in Mukkebaz ) is always used by hooligans for killing innocent people, but he never depicted what terrorists say before exploding bombs on the innocent people.

2nd side of coin- Tails

  • This movie Padmavat is passed by the CBFC and by our courts. Thus, all protesting groups should respect the verdict of our constitution agencies and court and not disrupt the peace by violent protest. On a political front, this whole controversy has given Lokendra Singh Kalvi ( leader of Karni Sena ) an absolute limelight and followers. It is an irony of India, people have made their successful political careers on protests and demonstration. Laloo Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav during JP Protest. Hardik Patel for Patidar protest. Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid for their ongoing protests against our country and even Jignesh Mevani who is trying to fill the vacuum of a Dalit leader with Mayawati pushed to the sidelines.
  • I am a supporter of BJP, however, if the state fails to provide security to the cinema halls and public life/property- it will be a definite failure of state and the central government in handling this situation. The government should be ready to take its responsibility. Since Rajasthan is due for elections thus Congress is also mum. For Indian political parties banning movies is always as per choice. Congress raised voice for banning Indu Sarkar but did not find public support. Mamata Banerjee termed these as failure to provide freedom of expression, although, she made a point to take action on any movies that showcased her favorite community in a bad light. She ensured 3 Kanya was taken out from the cinemas as it had similarity to a criminal incident. DMK influenced problems in the screening of Da Vinci code. The release of Thupakki and Vishwaroppam faced issues because of claims of showing Muslim community in the bad light. All protests were supported by various political parties.
  • To Karni Sena and all other Rajput organizations, I am a Rajput too, however, burning public property, cinema halls and creating a mess is not a solution. If you guys will burn a small cinema hall, at least 20 people will lose their jobs and business. There is no point in hurting our own countrymen & properties. Already India is bleeding because of the violent protests in the name of Jaat/Patel/Dalit/Bheem Sena/Ram Rahim and more. If you have a disconnect, keep your protest active on the social media and within the constitutional framework. These violent protests are not giving a good name to Rajputs and overall to the greater Hindu cause of preserving our heritage. No sensible and responsible person will attack general public. The battle is still not over: currently we still have many Padmini’s, Nirbhaya’s and Gudia’s getting killed, raped, attacked by acids from the monsters in form of human belonging to every caste and religion. At least, we can utilize same anger and power to save their honor and life. As always witnessed, these protests are usually taken over by unemployed misguided youths, anti social and anti national elements to disrupt peace and harmony.
  • Hindus already have so many enemies like the pseudo seculars, the radicals, the anti-national left and the foreign media – which is already in process to paint these activities under Saffron and Hindu terror. I hope the positive sense and peace will prevail.

Jai Hind!

Credits: Abhishek Sing

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