Padmavati this name which was the epitome of valor and Rajput pride. This same name has now turned into a controversy where no one knows what they are fighting for? Do they just want to stop the release of a movie, or is there any real cause behind this movement?
Padmavati was a Hindu Queen, a Rajput king’s wife. Ironically, she first came to light in the poetic imagination of a Muslim poet. She was fiction or real, that does not matter anymore, as we have seen a lot of Hindu culture and literature changed when Mughals took over. Without any historical claim, it is hard to say what was fact and which part was fiction; and now there is no way to find out the truth. One thing that I could be sure of, however, would be to treat a talking parrot singing praises of Padmavati beauty and guiding Ratan Singh the way to reach her; as merely a fiction. But as I said, now it does not matter which part of this story was real and which was not. The only thing that matters now is – what are we trying to defend by protesting Padmavati Movie.
I tried hard to not say anything about this controversy but being me, it is a task near to impossible. So, I jotted down a few points of my own, that I want to share with you all. Before I write them, I must tell you that I am not on any side, in fact, there are no sides here.
First, let me ask you, how many of you have talked about Padmavati before this movie was announced. How many of you have remembered her, or have told her stories to your kids? Do your kids know Padmavati? If they know her, what do they know about her – her beauty, her suicide, or there was something more to her that you have taught your kids about?
Those who are opposing a movie without watching it; what are your grounds for protest? I have heard few people say that “They should not have made a movie on a Hindu Queen, why don’t they make films on Muslim ladies?” Seriously, do you think that they are making these films to honor/dishonor anyone? It is a business? They are doing it to make money out of it? Which will generate more revenue, a Padmavati, or a plain love story? Also, free publicity, which you guys are giving them. A movie maker is not thinking of religion when it comes to making movies. He is doing a business; same way when you are running a business it does not bother you if your client is a Hindu or a Muslim.
If they are making a movie, they should not hurt anyone’s sentiments. This is true. No one should ever hurt other’s sentiments, through their movies, or their words, posts on social media or comments. But are we living in an ideal world? A movie who evokes sentiments in a large section of people will obviously generate more profit. In fact, more controversial a movie is; more people try to watch it.
The story of Padmavati was about how she chose to burn herself in the fire over accepting the illicit proposal of a man. It will be a blot to her memory and dignity if any movie/story shows her with that man in any scenario (even in a dream). This kind of thing could hurt sentiments of people who have heard the story of Padmavati and have found solace in her sacrifice. But without watching this movie, how can anyone come to this conclusion, that this scene is there in the movie?
I totally agree that we should have a governing body who should stop a movie from releasing if that movie has some hidden agenda, and can hurt religious sentiments. In past, we have seen such movie coming into light who have put a particular Religion and its followers in question. We should have a government agency to identify such movies and scenes, and stop them from releasing until they fit the standards.
But wait? Don’t we already have that system in place. It’s called, censor board, right? And above that, you also have your legal system, courts, who have right to stop the release of a movie if it shows one community/person in the bad light and hurt someone’s sentiments.
What I doubt here is, who are these men, whose sentiments can get hurt through this movie? Rajput? Or, Politicians?
There was one Padmavati who died to save a Rajput’s king pride, and now a Padmavati is marked to be beheaded as she has hurt sentiments of a Rajput tribe.
Those who talk of Rajput’s pride here, do you know that Raja Ratan Singh was already married and still he attacked another kingdom so that he can marry king’s daughter Padmavati; all because he has heard from a singing parrot that Padmavati’s beauty was beyond explanation. What would you call it, Love or Lust? What would you say about the character of that person who marries one woman after another, because he finds that next one is more beautiful.
Polygamy was common among Kings of India at that time; it was common for kings to have more than one wife; then why are you questioning the character of Alauddin Khilji only?
Do you know that Khilji was married to Rajput’s Queens? We have already romanticized Jodha a Hindu Princess marrying Akbar the Mughal Emperor in a movie, even though we know that it was a forced marriage and there was no other option for Jodha.
What is illicit in this case is that Padmavati was a married woman. It was an illicit proposal of Khilji to a married woman. He was famous for his brutality and his lust and this kind of proposal proves his immoral thinking. What troubles me here the most is, if Khilji was already known for such kind of behavior; then why Ratan Singh agreed to show Padmavati’s face to him in a mirror? If a known rapist and characterless person come to you asking to show your wife’s face, would you oblige him? Would you oblige him if he threatens to kill you, or your family?
What would have Ratan Singh done; if instead of Padmavati, his Queen, Khilji had asked for a village girl or a maid of Padmavati? Would he had sacrificed that girl, to save his kingdom and life of thousands of people?
If Rani Padmavati, would have been just a wife, and not a Queen of people; what would she have done if she could have saved his husband’s life by giving herself to Khilji? What would you do, if you must choose between this proposal and life of your husband? What is life without honor? What is honor without life? What is honor without love? And, does this honor lies in your body? Where exactly does your honor lie?
Isn’t it the same mentality which force rape victims to rather stay quiet and attempt suicide than to speak out the culprit’s name?
These questions reflect our changing time, and how we value life now and then?
The most important question that I have here is, if suicide by Rani was worth Rajput’s pride?
Was it suicide? or forced suicide? We have all heard stories of how women were supposed to burn themselves in the fire when their husband died. Was she not another victim of ‘Sati Pratha’? she died after her husband, Ratan Singh, was killed by another neighboring Rajput Devpal Singh; ironically Devpal wanted Padmavati too. How degraded can a man be to kill another man so that he can sleep with his wife? Value of life is more than this.
She killed herself in the fire. She chose suicide. In her last moments, she didn’t have a sword in her hand. She was a Rajput Queen. She was supposed to be a warrior, a fighter. Was she? She chose to kill herself instead of fighting till her last breath. Thousands died with her, what if each of these thousand hands had a sword in them; they could have at least killed hundreds more.
If this was an example of bravery, I rather not teach my kids this lesson. If this is what you are defending, I rather not defend that. What I do defend is her right to her will. If she has willfully married Ratan Singh if she has willfully shown her face to Khilji, if she has willfully jumped in that fire to end her life. If not, what is left to defend here?
I would rather choose one Jhansi ki Rani over these thousand Padmavatis.
2 thoughts on “You are defending the wrong Padmavati”
Enjoyed reading your thoughts, although your description of the act of jauhar as a suicide, and not outlining many other brave steps that were supposed to have been taken by Rani Padmavati, including strategizing, entering the palace of Khilji and returning safely, getting her husband out of Khilji clutches, and leading thousands of women to bravely choosing a death over dishonor openly and not secretly people normally associate suicide with, are unprecedented!!
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Thank you Babu Ji for reading and liking my thoughts. I did not mentioned the steps that you mentioned, as I was not aware of these. Thank you for letting me know Rani Padmavati’s contribution in strategizing too. I do admire her for choosing fire over slavery under enemy; but I would rather want her to fight with a sword in her hand than die in Fire. That could be her way of fighting against Khilji and she should be commended for that.