Critics Say Extremist Rajput Groups Should Shut Up About Padmavati As They Were The Lapdogs Of The British And Did Nothing For India’s Independence And Burnt Women Through The Sadistic Practise Of Sati

Padmavati4

Desibuzzbc-Banner-Metrics-FinalRightwing Hindu Goons Threaten To Cut Off Bollywood Star Deepika Padukone's Nose And Behead The Director, Forcing Studio To Postpone Padmavati Release

Padmavati-Goons2Padmavati3Producers of a Bollywood period epic Padmavati have indefinitely delayed its release following countrywide protests by extremist Hindu right-wing and caste groups, including  threats of extreme violence against the film's star Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. But critics, including legendary Bollywood lyricist and screen-writer Javed Akhtar, have charged that these so called Rajputs, who are angry without having seen the actual film, should shut up as they were nothing more than the lapdogs of the British during their colonial occupation of India and did not do anything for the country's independence or for that matter for women, who under their customs were forced to set themselves on fire if the husband died before them through the sadistic practise of Sati.

MUMBAI – Producers of a Bollywood period epic Padmavati have indefinitely delayed its release following countrywide protests by extremist Hindu right-wing and caste groups, including  threats of extreme violence against the film's star Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The film Padmavati tells the story of a 14th-Century Hindu queen belonging to the high Rajput caste and the Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji.

Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh play the lead roles in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's lavish production.

Padmavati-directorExtremist Hindu groups and a Rajput caste organisation allege that the movie depicts an intimate romantic scene between the two characters, a claim the producers of the film have denied.

PadmavatiPadmavati is a fictional queen in the epic poem Padmavat by 16th-Century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi.

The epic in Awadhi language extols the virtue of Padmavati who committed sati, the practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre, to protect her honour from the invading Muslim emperor Khilji who had killed her husband, the Rajput king, in a battle.

Sati is believed to have originated some 700 years ago among the ruling class or Rajputs in India.

The Rajput women burnt themselves after their men were defeated in battles to avoid being taken by the victors. But it came to be seen as a measure of wifely devotion in later years. The custom was outlawed by India's British rulers in 1829 following demands by Indian reformers.

padmavati-7592Historians point out that Jayasi's epic ballad about a Muslim emperor attacking a kingdom smitten by the beauty of a Hindu queen was written in the 16th Century, more than 200 years after the historical record of the invasion. They say the folklore around Padmavati have also been problematic as they have glorified sati.

Padmavati4As the recent protests show, Padmavati is deified and held as a symbol of female honour among Rajputs even today.

But critics, including legendary Bollywood lyricist and screen-writer Javed Akhtar, have charged that these so called Rajputs, who are angry without having seen the actual film, should shut up as they were nothing more than the lapdogs of the British during their colonial occupation of India and did not do anything for the country's independence or for that matter for women, who under their customs were forced to set themselves on fire if the husband died before them through the sadistic practise of Sati.

Rumours of a scene in the film of the Muslim king dreaming of getting romantic with the Hindu queen enraged many like the Rajput Karnik Sena, a fringe caste group, who have called for the film to be banned.

Padmavati-Goons3Padmavati-GoonsLast week, the group, which had disrupted the shooting and slapped Bhansali on the set of the film earlier this year, vandalised cinemas, and threatened to chop off Padukone's nose, referring to a story in the epic Ramayana where a character has her nose chopped off as punishment.

The group also held protests against the film in several states, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, which are ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, whose chief leader Narendra Modi is the current Prime Minister of the country.

Rajput community members have burnt effigies of Bhansali and sought a ban of the film. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has said it should not be released until "necessary changes are made so that sentiments of any community are not hurt".

Last weekend, a regional leader of the BJP announced a reward of nearly $1 million for anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone.

Courtesy The Guardian

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