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‘Don’t mask ‘masala’ as history’ says Mewar Royal on Padmavati

The upcoming movie Padmavati is surrounded by controversies. This time its Mewar Royal commenting on the movie's theme.

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Padmavati movie shot
Padmavati movie shot. Instagram
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New Delhi: The drama and debates over Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s Padmavati — the story of Rajput queen Padmini — has upset a direct descendant of the Mewar royal family. Baijiraj Trivikrama Kumari Jamwal, daughter of Mahendra Singh Mewar — the 76th Maharana of the Mewar dynasty and a former Lok Sabha member — is otherwise quietly going about her life as an English teacher at a school here.

But amidst heightened protests against Padmavati, which she has tagged an “inauthentic venture”, Trivikrama says it’s unfair that her family’s name is being dragged into generating “free publicity” for the film. “The sad part is that the film is getting free pre-release publicity and that a commercial and inauthentic venture like this is using my family’s name.

“It’s not just a question of incorrect portrayal, which is established from the trailer and the ‘Ghoomar’ song itself, but also the fact that you’re using my family’s name for the commercial pre-release publicity of your film, free of cost… And the national media is talking about it. That’s my problem,” Trivikrama told IANS in an interview here.

Bhansali’s Padmavati has been mired in controversy. The conjecture that it distorts history has led organizations like Shri Rajput Karni Sena and Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha to go up in arms against the release of the movie, while BJP leaders have been making statements and appeal to stop its release on December 1.

“That’s why I am so upset. People have political and commercial agendas. There’s nothing wrong with commercial enterprises and politics, but misusing and exploiting somebody’s pride, honor and dignity for such shallow purposes, that is where I step in and say, ‘Sorry, not acceptable’,” Trivikrama said.

The makers have maintained there is no dream romance sequence shown between the Rajput queen and invader Alauddin Khilji, as had been alleged by some. But a few political leaders and Jaipur’s former princess Diya Kumari have suggested Bhansali must show the movie to some historians prior to its release.

Trivikrama questions: “It depends on who the historians are because history is also colored. It has to be a well-represented congress of historians. He (Bhansali) should approach the most authentic voice, which is the family itself. That he hasn’t done.”

Her mother, Maharani Nirupama Kumari commented: “He has already made the film. What’s the point of showing it to historians now?”

To many, the story of Rani Padmini remains a mystery. What is the story Trivikrama has grown up with?

“If you go as a tourist to Chittorgarh Fort, you’re taken to Padmini’s Palace, and you’re shown a couple of mirrors. The tourist guide tells you about it and he points out a little pond and says she stood over there and Alauddin Khilji saw her face.

“But that is just packaging culture to sell to ignorant tourists,” she said.

Trivikrama said Rani Padmini finds a mention in “Veer Vinod”, a record book on Mewar’s history.

“It’s a historical record that shows yes she was there, she was the wife of Rawal Ratan Singh and she was only an excuse that Alauddin Khilji used to invade Chittor. The real reason was a very calculated military decision to invade,” she said.

“Padmini was not in the picture at all, except now what has been made into a tale, which is a figment of the imagination, I believe. It’s not there in history,” she said, pointing out that their family is one of the oldest families with an unbroken succession.

She estimated that there were over 30 generations between now and the first Jauhar — self-immolation led by Rani Padmini in 1303 during the siege of Chittor

What about the epic Awadhi poem Padmavati?

“Apparently, it’s a self-confessed piece of fiction. I’m ready to accept that you (Bhansali) have made a piece of fiction. But then don’t drag my family’s name into it and claim you’re the custodian of my family’s history,” asserted Trivikrama, a Ph.D. in English literature.

She said filmmakers are doing a lot in the garb of artistic license.

“Sure you have that, but then along with the artistic license, there should be artistic integrity and sensitivity,” she said, pointing out how the representation of Rani Padmini is “wrong” even in terms of dance and clothes.

“Instead of making it clear that it is Bollywood masala, you’re saying it is history and misleading and ‘miseducating’ the future generations.”(IANS)

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Amritsar Train Tragedy Leaves Bollywood Industry in Shock

Here's how the celebrities reacted:

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Anil Kapoor, Amritsar
Amritsar train tragedy: Bollywood shocked, calls for better safety. Twitter

The deplorable train tragedy in Amritsar in which 60 people were crushed to death and several others injured, brings the focus to how safety in public places needs to be taken more seriously in the country, say Bollywood celebrities who have sent out prayers for the victims.

The film fraternity expressed shock over the incident which took place on the festival of Dussehra on Friday. A 700 strong crowd was watching a huge Ravana effigy go up in flames amid exploding crackers when on the Joda Phatak track near Dhobi Ghat the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU passenger train heading to Hoshiarpur from Amritsar came hurtling down around 7 p.m.

In just 10-15 seconds, it left behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

Here’s how the celebrities reacted:

Farhan Akhtar: Saddened to hear about the loss of life in Amritsar. Safety in public spaces has to be taken a lot more seriously. Deepest condolences to all families affected by this tragedy.

Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt. Wikimedia Commons

Anil Kapoor: A tragic incident that could have been avoided if only. Sending my thoughts and prayers to the families of the deceased and wishing a speedy recovery for the ones injured.

Alia Bhatt: The Amritsar train accident is heartbreaking. Terrible thing to have happened. This is just another example our extremely poor attitude towards caution and safety. Prayers for all those suffering.

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Shekhar Kapur: Absolutely horrific tragedy. Heart goes to the kin of those that dies and injured. Let’s not politicise this tragic event that has left more than 60 dead and huge numbers seriously injured… obviously there will be an inquiry later.

Diana Penty: Absolutely shocked at hearing the news of the train accident in Amritsar. I just cannot fathom how something like this could have happened. My deepest condolences to all the families that have lost their loved ones. Love and prayers. (IANS)