The recently released ‘Manikarnika’, starring Kangana Ranaut, has created a buzz for all the right reasons. Based on the heroic exploits of the warrior queen Rani Lakshmi Bai, the movie is now earning revenue at the same speed as Uri, and might recover its cost well within the first week. Besides, for the first time, Manikarnika has also made a bold attempt, as seen in the portrayal of Jayajirao Scindia, at portraying Indian history as it was, and not as it was imparted to us by vicious left liberals.
In a crucial scene before the climax, we see the conniving ruler of Gwalior planning to capture Rani Lakshmi Bai the moment she enters his state and handing her over to the British. However, in a rather bloodless coup, the warrior queen turns the tables, and compels Scindia to run away without a fight, in a rather cowardly fashion.
This is not only a part of popular folklore, but also a bitter truth as well. In June 1858, Jayajirao Scindia, who was the ruler of the Gwalior state, was convinced by his minister Dinkar Rao and an English official, Major Charles McPherson, to capture the Queen and hand her over to the British. However, when the rebel forces attacked Gwalior in early morning, a huge chunk of the Gwalior forces just went over and joined the rebel camp. Without even attempting to fight them, Jayajirao just ran away and did not stop until he reached Agra.
Interestingly, this is the same Scindia dynasty which is now represented by Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. As such, an unapologetic portrayal of his ancestors as shown in Manikarnika is bound to trigger many sycophants of the ‘Grand Old Party’ in the left liberal intelligentsia. However, this is not the first time people have been portrayed as they were.
Only a couple of weeks ago, ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ had taken everyone by storm when they depicted the Nehru Gandhi dynasty without any kind of sugar coating. Needless to say, all hell broke loose as scores of film critics launched an extremely negative campaign against the movie, downgrading the film as much as possible. It is another matter altogether that they couldn’t prevent the film from at least becoming a legitimate box office success.
Besides, even though ‘Thackeray’ lacked some extra zing, it was brutally honest when it came to portraying people as they were, including the likes of the controversial leader cum PM, Morarji Desai, as well as communist goon Krishna Desai etc. It was rather time that we started calling a spade a spade in terms of depicting historical characters, and going by how Manikarnika portrayed historical characters, it looks they’ve taken this statement quite seriously.