This is going to get dated real quick, but just thought of putting it out there.
A lot of my countrymen are getting disproportionately wound up over protecting the history and honor of a fictitious queen Padmini with the days fast leading up to the release Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. While it certainly is ridiculous, I get them. For instance, if SLB were to choose to make a movie based on somebody that the people of my community revere, say a religious leader, I personally know people who would have their pants in a twist about that. Even if SLB did his research to the minutest detail and made sure everything was accurate to the t, there would be a LOT of uncomfortable people. So yeah, I get where they come from. It is okay and it is natural to feel uncomfortable when it looks like somebody wants to meddle with your heritage. It is okay to protest.
What is not okay, however, is to use this discomfort as justification for vandalism and death threats, and then provide flimsy excuses like “distortion of history”. The best way to protest, at least according to me, is to educate. You think something’s wrong? Write blog posts about why it’s wrong and how to correct it. Those people offering Rs 1 Cr for beheading Deepika Padukone(lolwut)? You can make your own movie with that money with what you think are the correct facts. Make videos, plaster it over your social media statuses, write listicles about what bothers you, etc. – there are just so many ways you can make yourself heard without having to be violent.
Honestly, I find there are many other things worth outraging about instead of this:
- It is pretty much accepted in history that Alauddin Khalji was an ambitious maniac of a ruler who wanted to expand the sultanate by invading the Hindu kingdoms as much as possible. Therefore I consider it a greater distortion of history to belittle his ambition by accepting that he invaded Chittor just because he was smitten by a woman.
- Should probably be 1a, but damn, have you read about Khalji’s life? Most particularly his wives? The movie should have been about Khalji. Or at least make another one and bring Ranveer Singh back!
- They couldn’t have chosen a more outrageous font for the movie. Papyrus is better than that shit.
- Some horrible casting decisions were made. Literally any random Rajput guy would look more royal than Shahid Kapoor in front of Deepika Padukone.
- I know that Jauhar was a valorous move by queen Padmini to preserve the honor of the Rajput women, but this movie comes with the risk of endorsing self-immolation as a virtuous thing that should be expected from a woman.
- Why not raise a stink of a similar magnitude over issues that actually matter? Instead of trying to grab your 15 minutes over a Bollywood movie (the fact that it’s a Bollywood movie should already give the idea that it must not be taken seriously) why not focus your energy into pressuring the government to make things better for the real, living women in your country?