The Padmavati Conundrum

As a matter of fact, literature and culture, arts and food preferences, these form the basic freedoms of a human to decide and adopt. Today, not only in India, but elsewhere, there is a flurry of misinformation.

The governments of the BJP and even the on-BJP states are facing a problem. It has been termed as a ‘super emergency’ by Ms Mamta Banerjee the Chief Minster of West Bengal. The problem today is about the inability of people, and rather they are not people, but the unemployed citizens who have made it their full-time business to promote the narrow outlook on things that don’t get to echo their minuscule way of viewing things.

It is an obscurantist’s perception when the ordinary people live and recreate their minds by ascribing to the magnificence of the cinema, many people take it to extreme by opposing a man’s creativity. Padmavati, is one film based on a creature that involves a peculiar narrative of respected Rajput queen, who is depicted as being enamoured by Alauddin Khilji.

This turns out to be a love story between the Slave king and a Rajput queen, which in the folklore and the historical accounts has a variety of descriptions. The intellect of man, must at all times be open to accept diverse views and make a factual inquiry into the truth if the need be.

We all are aware of artist MF Hussain and his love, we are also aware of all the film stars and politicians marrying women from different communities. The general narrative about the inter-religious marriages is woven in the middle class protectionism that get fanned by the political parties today to create a divide.

What are we to get when the saffron right-wing elements put out cries in protest against such pieces of creativity, and threaten to kill the actress by rewarding the killer with a prize. The states and the CBFC, have seemingly bowed before the pressure exerted to create a controversy yet again. The controversy has a deep impact on the psyche of the voters as well who are going to vote in this season.

The polarisation push gets a colour when there is a blunt rhetoric blaming one community and the other rescuing itself. These acts are not the work of creative and constructive minds at work, but rather destructive minds who will scuttle the freedom to express and will destroy anything that goes against their set of beliefs.

Art and literature have and impact of instilling the most different opinions in man where he gets to feel the emotions that may never be felt. The reference here is now to the feelings of man and a woman who gets maligned and trapped by the social morals and values which don’t seem to be constant.

The past is recorded from a man’s point of view, there may have been distortions yet people don’t tend to believe, there are things that might not be known. Rani Padmini/ Padmavati has been recorded as a very famed and beloved queen while some accounts also talk of her association with Alauddin Khilji.

The endorsement of the state governments of the folklore and the protesters is an alarming incident where freedom to express and create is constantly challenged. How can there be a diverse opinion and how then will there be unity in diversity?

The Goa film festival, also saw many films being snipped out on one pretext or the other, this does not warrant the state censorship. Where movies on one night stands and explicit adult content get the nod of the CBFC, where songs of pathetic and despicable content get approvals, why cannot a re-invented past of a queen be made to reach the public when it bears the signature that it is a fiction?

The print of the movie is available online and people will watch it, all the more with more inquisitiveness as it saw so much of conundrum around it. The sets were vandalised and now the heroine is being threatened. Either we call it a publicity stunt that is orchestrated to achieve desired results or it is a demonic pursuit of those idlers who believe in transgressing others fundamental rights by muscle flexing the state authority.

This will not be a fact to be considered, while the entire world will fuss about whether a late queen and a late king were each others paramour or not! This action is strictly condemned and the government must permit public viewing, or constitute a fact-finding immediately to lash out at the producers of the film for maligning a public figure. Yet the film may be made a work of fiction and still be viewed, or the best find a copy online and enjoy a walk in our glorious past reconstructed.

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