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Widows and outcasts tie Rakhi to Priests at Gopinath temple in Vrindavan

Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak, who takes care of around 1,000 widows in Vrindavan, observed that such an initiative will bring cheer to their lives

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Lucknow, August 17, 2016: In a one-of-its-kind event, hundreds of widows from Vrindavan and liberated manual scavenger women on Wednesday publicly tied Rakhi to 50 upper caste sages, Sanskrit scholars and priests at the century-old Gopinath temple in Vrindavan.

Defying tradition, the women were in the temple town at the initiative of NGO Sulabh International. Around 100 widows, mostly in their 80s, have been engaged in making colourful Rakhis since the beginning of August at Meera Sahabhagi and Chetan Vihar Ashram to organise Rakhsha Bandhan on a massive scale. They have prepared around 1,000 of these sacred threads, an official informed IANS.

Windows of Vrindavan. Image source: widowsofvrindavan.blogspot.com
Windows of Vrindavan. Image source: widowsofvrindavan.blogspot.com

Besides these 800 widows and 200 liberated manual scavengers, women from Alwar and Tonk districts of Rajasthan also took part in the Rakhi celebrations. Widows tied Rakhi to local holy men and upper caste men to mark the occasion and break the tradition. They even shared food with them.

Widows of Vrindavan. Image source: www.youtube.com
Widows of Vrindavan. Image source: www.youtube.com

Later, the widows also participated in cultural programmes especially chalked out for the occasion.

Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak, who takes care of around 1,000 widows in Vrindavan, observed that such an initiative will bring cheer to their lives.

A collection of 2,000 colourful Rakhis and sweets will also be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the widows who have expressed a strong desire to meet him and urge him to ensure their wellbeing.

At least ten widows from Vrindavan and Varanasi will visit the Prime Minister’s official residence in Delhi with the Rakhis on behalf of around 2,000 widows living in Vrindavan and Varanasi on Thursday.

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  • Kabir Chaudhary

    In an act of kindness the upper caste sages have tied themselves with the windows of vrindavan in a sacred Rakhi bond. This is a great show of humanity against fellow humans and for this, they should be appreciated a lot.

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CBFC changes name for certifying Padmavati and made several cuts

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CBFC changes name for certifying Padmavati and made several cuts
CBFC changes name for certifying Padmavati and made several cuts. IANS

Mumbai, Dec 30, 2017: The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to give a U/A certificate “along with some modifications” to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film “Padmavati” and has asked the filmmaker to “likely” change the movie’s title to “Padmavat”. However, the suggestions have been slammed by a Mewar royal and some members of the film industry.

“Padmavati”, featuring Deepika Padukone as Rajput queen Padmavati, was also asked to give a few disclaimers — one of them regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati and also relevant modifications in the song “Ghoomar” to befit the character portrayed, a CBFC statement said on Saturday.

The decision was taken after an examining committee meeting was held on Thursday in the presence of CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi. The special panel consisted of Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr Chandramani Singh and Professor K.K. Singh of Jaipur University.

As per CBFC, the film was approached with a “balanced view keeping in mind both the filmmakers and the society”. The board asked for several cuts, and a name change, before giving the film the certification for showing in theaters in India. According to some reports, 26 cuts were ordered.

Considering the complexities and concerns around the film, the requirement for a special panel was felt by CBFC “to add perspective to the final decision of the official committee”, the CBFC said.

Earlier on November 30, Bhansali appeared before a parliamentary committee and said: “All the controversy over the film is based on rumours. I have not distorted facts. The film is based on a poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi,” referring to the 16th century Indian sufi poet’s epic poem “Padmavat”.

The certificate will be issued once the required modifications are carried out and final material submitted, the board said.

However, the suggestions from CBFC were slammed by a Mewar royal, who expressed his disappointment in a letter to Prasoon Joshi — a copy of which is with IANS.

Maharajkumar Vishvaraj Singh, son of Mahendra Singh Mewar — the 76th Maharana of the Mewar dynasty and a former Lok Sabha member — said he was supposed to be a part of the committee on Thursday, but couldn’t make it in the end, and the decision was taken by the censor board without his consent.

Popular Bollywood celebrities like Anubhav Sinha, Renuka Shahane and Apurva Asrani, among others, also slammed CBFC’s decision on Twitter, where some people edited Deepika’s photograph with her co-star Ranveer Singh, referring to the new title, “Padmavat”.

“So Bhansali can now actually throw a party. Just that whisky will be called ‘whiska’, vodka will be called ‘vodki’ and so on,” Sinha tweeted.

Renuka wrote: “The ‘I’ of the storm has passed. CBFC changes the name of “Padmavati” to “Padmavat” and passes the film with a U/A certificate. Thereby, nobody will have any issue and nobody’s sentiments will be hurt. Name changing is game changing I must say!”

Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia was “disgusted” by CBFC’s decision.

“Disgusted by the open and blatant use of political muscle to screw filmmakers during elections. Now that Gujarat and Himachal are won, ‘Padmavati’ has got its U/A, it will be praised. Rajputs’ heroism will be talked about by the same people who slammed it. Thank God we have not made a film called Gandhi! Can you imagine what title CBFC would suggest,” he tweeted.

Asrani said: “If ‘Pad Man’ picks up the ‘I’ that ‘Padmavat’ drops, they’ll have to call it ‘Padmani’. From the frying pan into the pyre.”

Actor Rahul Dev felt similar and tweeted: “‘Padmavati’ turns ‘Padmavat’, smart move, yet wonder why is the ‘I’ so large in our country? CBFC gives U/A certificate for the film.”

“Padmavati”, which was earlier slated for release on December 1, got embroiled in controversy after the Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, urged a nationwide ban on the film claiming that it “distorts historical facts”.

Members of the political organisation also physically assaulted Bhansali during the film’s shooting in Jaipur earlier this year. They even burnt the sets of the movie on the outskirts of Mumbai.

The row took an ugly turn when threats were issued against Bhansali and Deepika. (IANS)