And certainly not in a good way. The Padmavati film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has attracted many controversies over the past year and the makers have finally postponed its release.
Many opinions and voices have been raised about the true story of Rani Padmini – a Rajput queen from the 13th Century, who allegedly saved the integrity of thousands of women by leading a mass-immolation (Jauhar). And when you think this through, it’s ironic how the hullabaloo around this film has threatened another woman’s life.
That’s right. After the sets and props of the film were repeatedly vandalised, it came down to threatening Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s life. While one claimed to cut off Deepika’s nose, another promised 5 crores for beheading them both.
And it didn’t end there. A letter to the PM was sent in order to ask for a nationwide ban on the film, many more letters were written to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), a petition was filed in the Supreme Court, protests were held in various states and ultimately a Bharat Bandh on the date of release was demanded.
Journalists had a field day and the audience had varied opinions on Twitter.
The art of telling our stories through performance is an age old Hindu Tradition. They raise more protest about a MOVIE they haven’t seen than all the female VIOLENCE in the entire country. Now they’re promoting violence against women! They ought to be ashamed. #Padmavati
— Bee (@Asli_Mirchi) November 16, 2017
I support you
— rajashekhar reddi (@rajarede) November 16, 2017
Finally, the makers were compelled to do this:
— Viacom18 (@viacom18) November 19, 2017
All we have to say is, period films and biographies are often depicted as faithfully as possible wherein the maker’s perspective is painted in front of the audience and certain creative liberties are taken. Now, when it comes to an entire community taking offense, we know how precious beliefs and faiths in India can be, but the misunderstandings could easily be cleared out without violent actions.
Here’s how the issue could’ve been solved.
*shoot at Kolhapur*
Pro Rajput: “Excuse me? You’re making a film based on our beloved queen, it better be respectful and true to history.”
Makers: “Oh, of course, it is!”
*trailer releases, rumours spread about objectionable scenes*
Pro Rajput: “We heard there are objectionable scenes!! Is that true?!”
Makers: “Not at all! You can have a look if you’d like.”
*film screened for certain officials, clearing all misunderstandings*
And we all lived happily ever after!
Then again, there are certain things we can’t expect around here even in the 21st century. Wish we’d remember how communication is key. While the entire mess could’ve been avoided if certain permissions were taken beforehand, the violence wasn’t a good comeback either.
So who’s the villain here? It’s entirely up to you. And that brings us to the most important learning – historical accounts were written by different people based on their perspectives, beliefs, prejudices, etc and that’s exactly how we see the Padmavati controversy today – to each his own.