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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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Fiction Can’t Beat Facts: Rajkumar Hirani

"People make fictional stories to entertain the audience but a documentary filmmaker makes documentary which is closer to his or her heart."

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Rajkumar Hirani is one of the most talented indian filmmakers. facebook
Rajkumar Hirani is one of the most talented indian filmmakers. Facebook
  • Rajkumar Hirani is famous Indian film director
  • He is currently shotting Sanjay Dutt’s biopic
  • The biopic will star Ranbir Kapoor and is said to based on true facts

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who is busy shooting for a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, says fiction can’t beat facts.

Hirani attended a special screening of the documentary titled “Raising The Bar”, hosted by filmmaker Onir and producer Mitu Bhowmick Lange in association with Australian Consulate General Mumbai on Thursday.

Rajkumar Hirani is working on Sanjay dutt's biopic.
Rajkumar Hirani is working on Sanjay dutt’s biopic.

Asked about the importance of making documentaries, Hirani said: “I feel why should we see only fiction? We should watch documentaries because they can be very interesting as well.”

“Earlier, they never used to get platforms but I think they should get a platform so that more and more people can come forward to make documentaries. I think documentaries are really engaging as they are real, and fiction can’t beat facts.”

The “3 Idiots” director said documentary filmmakers make films that are close to their heart.

“Documentary filmmakers choose subjects which they feel about, which they are affected by or which they have seen around them. So, I feel it’s nice that people come to know about these things,” he said.

Rajkumar Hirani has made brilliant movies like '3 idiots' in the past. Wikimedia Commons
Rajkumar Hirani has made brilliant movies like ‘3 idiots’ in the past. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots: 10 Interesting Fact You Should Know

“People make fictional stories to entertain the audience but a documentary filmmaker makes documentary which is closer to his or her heart.”

Will he ever make a documentary?

Hirani said: “I am really fond of it. I want to make it and I will definitely make it. I have many subjects to tell and when the time will be right, I will speak more about it.”

“Raising The Bar” is a poignant tale which follows awe-inspiring stories of six young individuals with Down syndrome from two different continents who all meet at the World Down Syndrome Congress in Chennai.

Rajkumar Hirani is famous for films which are out of ordinary. Wikimedia Commons
Rajkumar Hirani is famous for films which are out of ordinary. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani Tweets about Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt’s Biopic Shoot

The documentary aims to create awareness and emotionally engage the audience with the universal message of inclusion and diversity, celebrating the differences that make us all unique.

Helmed by National Award-winning director Onir, “Raising The Bar” is a 70-minute documentary which has won several awards internationally. IANS