“When the traditions cherished by her were threatened and slighted by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the fearless, mighty Afghan ruler of Dilli (modern Delhi), she embraced ‘Jauhar’ with exceptional courage. The beautiful body embodied from dust returned to dust once again. Even the fire that burnt her glorious frame to ashes couldn’t surpass the radiance, the holy beauty that illuminated her face as she devoted her life to flames. This was the story of Chittor’s Rani Padmavati– an example of valour, divine beauty and womanhood.”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the magical Bollywood film director is said to breathe life into controversial tales that lose their existence amidst the blurred pages of Indian history. Recently, Bhansali decided to bring the stunning Rajasthani queen Padmavati back to life on silver screen. This Friday, Bhansali’s crew arrived in Jaipur to shoot sequels for their upcoming movie Padmavati, portraying Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the star cast.
Controversy Ignites On the Sets of Padmavati in Jaipur
On the first day of shooting, the crew of Padmavati faced bitter criticism and aggressive protests by Karni Sena– a group of Rajasthani Rajputs led by Lokendra Singh Kalvi. The group accused Bhansali of distorting Rani Padmavati’s tale and portraying her as the lover of Ala-ud-din-Khilji, which isn’t true according to the history of Rajasthan.
Amidst this conflict, Bhansali was assaulted and slapped by Karni Sena leaders, who demolished the movie set. Consequently, Bhansali’s crew packed up and fled from the Pink city. Their demise was followed by Bhansali announcing that Padmavati shooting will no longer take place in Jaipur.
While the entire Bollywood sprung up in Bhansali’s favour, the regional, cultural, Hindu and Rajputana groups sided with Karni Sena group in their fight against corrupting the glorious history of Rajasthan.
But that was just a gist of what we’ve been told by the on-lookers. The reality is different from what we perceive in the newspapers or television. Here are 5 lesser-known facts about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati controversy that you don’t know.
5 Shocking Truths Behind Rani Padmavati
1. Even though Bhansali was assaulted and opposed by the Karni Sena, neither he nor any member of the crew lodged a FIR regarding this attack in any of the police stations located nearby. Rajasthan police were not officially informed about the attacks made on Bhansali.
2. Though Bhansali had requested Rajasthan government’s permission for shooting in Jaipur for a period of ten days, they didn’t arrive on the scheduled time. Moreover, none of the crew members informed the police or demanded police security while shooting for their movie. This made it easier for the protestants to breach the private security of Bollywood stars and attack Bhansali. Surprisingly, the crew didn’t have proper security measures in place.
3. Before Bhansali started shooting for the movie scenes, he was repeatedly approached by Karni Sena in Mumbai. The members of this group sent him letters, requesting him to stop promoting controversial propaganda and manipulated facts in the name of history. Sources say that Bhansali has already had three to four meetings with the group in private, back in Mumbai.
4. After the incident took place, the members of Shiv Sena Mumbai came to support Karni Sena in this endeavour. In past, the Karni Sena group had protested against TV director Ekta Kapoor and Bollywood director Ashutosh Gowarikar for portraying wrong facts regarding princess Jodha and king Akbar.
5. According to Karni Sena head, they were offended by the fact that queen Padmavati’s sacrifice was insulted by Bhansali. The queen lost her life to ‘Sati pratha’ or ‘Jauhar’self-immolation on) on the pyre of her dead husband so that she could escape the evil clutches of King Ala-ud-din-Khilji. Knowing this, how could Bhansali distort the history to personify Padmavati as Khilji’s lover. The Rajputs see it as a threat to their clan dignity. Even the historians believe that Malik Muhammad Javasi’s poem Padmavat was a partly-factual-and-partly-fictional composition. The poem didn’t do justice to queen Padmavati’s tale.
While we don’t support the way things fuelled up violently with Karni Sena’s involvement, we can’t help but agree that one shouldn’t serve wrong facts in the name of history to the future generations. The way things proceeded were certainly very unfortunate, but a few Bollywood critics believe it was Bhansali’s masterstroke to earn publicity for his upcoming movie. We don’t know what’s the truth behind Padmavati controversy, but all we know is that the situation would’ve been better had Bhansali and Karni Sena members handled the situation with maturity.