Padmavati is the most revered queen of the Rajputs, the ultimate epitome of honor, pride and sacrifice. Anything that belittles the queen in, even subtly, is bound to be met with protests from the Rajput community, who revere the Rajputana Queen as a Devi. Earlier when some angry protesters tore off the posters and destroyed the Rangoli promoting the film, Deepika was quick to question and criticize BJP for the action of a self-styled clique like Karni Sena. Not just that, She went ahead and tweeted about it to Smriti Irani, urging her to stop this immediately. Because of course, that’s what he I&B Ministers are for.
— Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) October 18, 2017
However, the protests got nastier as the release date of the film approached (now delayed). Karni Sena Chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi called for an India-wide bandh on December 1, the earlier planned release date of Padmavati. Thakur Abhisek Som announced Rs. 5 crore bounty on Deepika’s head. Mahipal Singh Makrana threatened to chop off Deepika’s nose. Later, twitter users actively dug out the actual reasons behind these protests. Take a look yourself!
Swati…pls care to mention that Mahendra Makrana is from @AamAadmiParty, Abhishek Som who placed a Rs 5Cr bounty on Bhansali's head is from SP and Lokendra Kalvi, who threatened to cut @deepikapadukone's nose, is from @INCIndia .. @BJP4India does not endorse violence..period.. https://t.co/gykbBuxnaa
— Sanju Verma (@Sanju_Verma_) November 17, 2017
Amidst the protests, Deepika Padukone yielded to her anxiety and declared India a regressive nation– the same nation, which gave her immense respect, unconditional love and fame.
In a fit of unease, Deepika Padukone said- “It’s appalling, it’s absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed. The only people we are answerable to is the censor board, and I know, and I believe that nothing can stop the release of this film. This is not about Padmavati. We’re fighting a much bigger battle”.
Chopping off nose and head of an actress is an extremely shocking, inhuman and vile act and we totally condemn the ones issuing threats. However, branding the entire nation as regressive for the statements of a clique is far more regressive. It is hyper-generalisation of the purest form. Amazingly, the words came from the same Deepika Padukone who claims to value Indian traditions and culture in her Lux Soap advertisement.
If an actor thinks that filmmakers, actors and actresses are not answerable to anybody except the censor board, then it is an absolutely wrong notion. Films are a reflection of the society and society is what they are answerable to. There is a reason why there are statutory warnings in movies, gory scenes are pixelated, there are proper categorization of films on the basis of age groups and there are disclaimers about coincidence, true story, inspired story, literal and loose adaptations. So When someone makes a film on a historical subject, that includes a community, the community does have the right to ensure that they or a figure they revere haven’t been unjustly represented.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) is a filmmaker well-known for romanticizing and re-imagining historical actualities. The way he reduced India’s best war general Baji Rao Peshwa to a half-crazed romeo destroyed in love who ultimately dies of love pangs was despicable. The way he made the winner of countless battles perform an atrocious “Vaat Lawli” was repulsive and the way he made a Peshwa queen dance in front of public with a common courtesan was appalling. SLB must understand that Peshwas and their wives are not Devdas’s and Paros. They were original Historical figures whose contribution in the making of India, in its present form is unquestionable.
In Padmavati too, SLB took full liberty to show the queen dance like a nautch girl in the Ghoomar dance. The song has so many mistakes in that song that it cannot be a causal miss but a deliberate portrayal to please the front row-ers in Cinema Halls. Here is our full analysis of the Ghoomar song.
According to an article on Hindustan Times, there are 8 reasons because of which people are so mad at the makers of Padmavati.
Some of the points raised are indeed thought provoking. Ranveer is an acclaimed film star and one of the heartthrobs of the nation, someone with a massive following. Ranveer with a well chiselled body as Khilji wrestling with warriors power-slamming them does look like an attempt at glorifying a marauder and child molester that Khilji was.
Ranveer and Deepika have a fabulous on-screen chemistry and they have been paired as lovers in their previous films. Deepika as Padmavati and Ranveer as Khilji is a horrible combination. It is like remaking Ramayana, and casting Arun Govil as Ravana and Deepika Chikalia as Sita, a classic case of exploiting the subconscious. Maybe I am overreading into it, but I am talking as a movie lover and not as a columnist on some internet portal.A Likeable star like Ranveer can make Khilji likeable. Like Shahrukh Khan made Criminal Abdul Latif likeable in his pedestrian film Raees. Well there are obvious counters? What about Dar? What about Anzam? What about other movies where Negative roles were played by ‘Heroes’. Well, none of them were real characters. Joker from Batman was not real. Tarang from Ajay Devgan’s Deewangee was not real. Ajay Sharma/Vicky Malhotra from Baazigar was not real. But Khilji is REAL.
Coming back to the “we have regressed as a nation” part:
In a video titled “My Choice”, Deepika Padukone mentions – “It is my choice to have sex before marriage, or sex outside marriage”. Well to put it technically “Sex outside marriage” is called “adultery” in Indian context and though it may appear to Deepika Padukone as her choice, it is both legally and morally wrong. Section 497 and 498 of the Indian Penal code clearly document it.
A Telugu Film like Bahubali got so much love from cinema lovers in Motihari and Gonda to those in Bhadrak and Churu, it was because it chose to represent India at its glorious best. We look up to our Film Stars as role models. We follow their fashion trends. We use their dialogues, their quotes, we act like them, we smile and laugh like them, we dress, and talk like them. We want to be them, even as they try to be us.
So when a cinema glorifies a Murderer and a Paedophile, and we don’t like it. We haven’t regressed as a nation. We are alive as a nation. So, when an actor glorifies adultery and we don’t like it. We haven’t regressed as a nation. We are alive as a nation. So when Lord Shiva is shown running in Washrooms and hiding under Wash-basins, and we don’t like it. We haven’t regressed as a nation, we are alive as a nation. And when we see a Prabhas carrying Mahadev on his broad shoulders and placing him under a waterfall for Jalabhishek, and we like it. We most certainly haven’t regressed as a nation. We are alive as a nation.