Sanjay Leela Bhansali began shooting for the epic historic drama film based on Rani Padmavati’s life a little less than a year ago. Like the fate of Bajirao Mastani, sectarian clans raised concerns over the treatment of history behind the movie. In this case, Rajputana organisations had sent official letters to the Director. But the director with his creative mindset in place went ahead with his work – fixing dates with the lead cast, shooting schedules and keeping the shoot timings on track. Recently, the shootings had to be discontinued midway due to inappropriate incidents causing an uncomfortable stir. So we thought of talking about the historical facts the film is based upon and why the subject has generated so much controversy!
Too Many Rumours About The Movie Have Surfaced Since Its Conception
This is not the first time Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie is facing a tough time. Since the beautiful pictures of the initial photoshoots surfaced, speculations have been rife about the plot of the movie. Throughout Sept to Dec 2016, rumours of filming a dream sequence between Rani Padmini with Allauddin Khilji were afloat. SLB and the cast considered these rumours baseless and did not issue any statements then.
Not surprisingly, Hardik Patel publicly lashed out at Bhansali for coming clear on his movie’s content
This was the second time the movie-maker received threats for the film. The Gujarati and Rajasthani organisations are believed to be querying repeatedly over the plot and script of the film to ensure no misappropriation of historical facts takes place. But they crossed all bars of etiquette by launching an attack on the sets at the Jaigarh Fort in the afternoon of Jan 29, 2017.
This obviously opened up national debate on the issue
Recently, a satirical take by comic artist Sandeep Adhwaryu featured in a daily newspaper on the current issue.
— Times of India (@timesofindia) January 28, 2017
This was followed with Sushant Singh Rajput’s startling bold move –
— Adya (@adyavarshney5) January 30, 2017
While liberals, historians and fundamentalists may argue on the topic till the Director’s official statement is out, here’s taking a look at the uncomfortable facts that history has a record of, much before Malik Muhammed Jayasi’s Poem on Rani Padmavati.
Rani Padmini was the first Rajput Princess to lead Jauhar
Jauhar, the pyre into which Princesses submitted themselves “in order to save their honour” was practiced by the Princess in medieval India specifically during clashes between Hindu and Muslim rulers. The Jauhar practised by Rani Padmini, better known as Rani Padmavati, is the most legendary one being the first incident occurring inside the Chittorgarh fort.
Three Rulers Fought Conquests to “Obtain” Padmavati
Rana kumbha of the Kumbhaner province also obsessed over Padmavati because of her enchanting beauty. He attacked the fortress and defeated Chittor’s Rana Rawal Ratan Singh (played by Shahid Kapoor in the movie) too but escaped because of his loyal warriors Gora and Badal. After listening to Raghav Chaitanya’s tunes on Padmavati’s beauty, Allauddin Khilji wished to approach the Rajputana provinces for Padmavati.
Allauddin Khilji had relationships with eunuchs, man slaves and teenage boys and girls
Not only was he homosexual but a regular physical abuser as well. He was known to have captivated any person whom he found attractive and that included an eunuch slave who was castrated and later became his army general. He is also believed to have died while being in close quarters with one of his slaves.
Amidst the controversial story line with a myriad of human characters, SLB has repeatedly clarified that there are no romantic scenes between Allauddin and Padmavati.
This tweet clears the air:
— BhansaliProductionFC (@bhansaliprod_fc) January 31, 2017
It is hoped that the controversy may go sublime now after Sanjay Leela Bhansali tweeted an official statement finally:
— BhansaliProductionFC (@bhansaliprod_fc) January 28, 2017
Almost all period drama films have faced discern and backlashes from sensitive sections of the masses, Mughal-e-Azam, Jodha Akbar, Mohenjo Daro and Bajirao Mastani. Each of these has braved the storm and faced the box-office as destiny would have had it for them. And Padmavati is no exception to this.
The characters and stories SLB and team are working upon are in itself quite interesting. Plus, the recent performances of Deepika, Ranveer and Shahid Kapur raise our hopes even higher. As avid cinema lovers, we hope that when the movie reaches its promotional stages, it is received well and no new controversy comes up.