My thoughts on controversy over movie Padmaavat!
I saw the movie Padmaavat on big screen yesterday. I have heard stories about Queen Padmini of Chittorgarh, her bravery and jauhar* since I was little. This past winter I visited my grandmother who lives near the fort of Chittorgarh. I visited the old fort. It was in a state of ruins. Other than temples there was not much to see. I saw the place where the jauhar happened, which is a fact. I also found out that there were other jauhars with different timelines through centuries. I saw the building where Khilji used to stay. The Chittorgarh fort is huge almost like a small city where thousands of people can live. It was up in the mountains with thick walls that are still standing strong. I am a Rajput and since childhood, I have heard many stories of brave Rajput men and women who sacrificed their lives for their people and honor. Rajput's were ethical and believed in honor. I did some research on the story and there are versions of life of queen Padmini written by many writers over the centuries. Sadly, I feel, the Indian history should have been archived truthfully so the future generations could have authentic knowledge of the past.
When I saw the movie I kept thinking what is the fuss about? It was an entertaining movie with some facts in it and some fiction to make it interesting. It was a drama not a documentary. A documentary would give you authentic information gathered from people who have been living there for generations. All the actors did a fine job. I saw nothing that seemed sensitive to Rajput’s honor. And if you are so disturbed by it, then please don't watch it.
India is a democracy and a secular country. Tolerance and acceptance of every point of view is a must. One cannot answer back in violence. If you feel so much for Rajput honor, then save our old forts that are in ruins. Please write about our history and characters so people can learn. There are so many ways to return the honor to the Rajput legacy. First, be united and help each other.
We need to understand that jauhar happened five hundred plus years ago. Please think before passing judgment over it, It was a time with no media, no television, no journalism and no internet. Man has gotten smarter over time with all these modern tools, gadgets and a wealth of information. What queen Padmavati a.k.a Padmini did, what they believed in that time. That is not meant to promote the abolished sati pratha. This pratha is misused by our own people to end widows forcefully. Sati pratha was a voluntary action not a forceful deed. This film does not promote sati pratha.
Alas, people, it's just a movie, please watch it, feel entertained and go home. There are so many problems currently in India that we need to figure out. First, women and children need to be safe, second please control our population, it's exploding. The dowry system should be completely abolished. Women should have right to full education and equal opportunity to work. The country where women are respected and educated, that country grows. Public schools should be well funded and should offer decent education to all. The internet should reach every small nook and village. The farmers should be rewarded. Clean Public restrooms should be provided throughout the country. Child labor should be banned. More orphanages with proper facilities and care should be provided for street children. Birth controls should be regulated in slums and villages. Traffic laws should be strict not only for driving but for overloaded trucks causing accidents. These are a few that comes to my mind but the list is definitely long.
Thank you for reading.