STORY OF PADMAVATI:
The saga of Padmavati since its inception days has raised many eyebrows.The scheduled release date of Padmavati was on November 19, 2017. But Viacom18 Motion Pictures shifted the date to December 1 because of the political climate surrounding it. As per the filmmaker, this plot is drawn from Sufi artist Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic lyric Padmaavat in the mid 16th century. From November till January the film got all the unwanted attention from all corners of media. Fringe elements were able to highjack the essence of democracy for that whole period of film’s release.
The film Padmavati has been the apple of discord throughout the year of 2017.
News channels at prime times and all different slots were the main platforms to showcase the war of words on the film Padmavati by different religious and political representations, Karni Sena, activists, Film representatives, ruling and opposition political groups.
Maharajkumar Vishvaraj Singh said his family has not given permission for the making of this film and was never consulted or informed: “even as a matter ordinary courtesy”. This erstwhile royal family unhappy with the cosmetic changes of Padmaavat as they claim the queen is part of their family legacy and honour must be maintained. This family is upset because they believe the queen has been depicted in poor light.
Objections to its release
- Why is the queen dancing in courtyard
- Dream sequence of a romantic scene between the queen Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji
- Does not show the Rajputs in their honour
- Defamation of the queen
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
- The constitution of India has drafted its rights for the Indian citizens quite elaborately. It ensures people who reside here irrespective of their faith, colour, gender, caste, language and other differences to live in a harmonious atmosphere. However as Indians who now are breathing in complete independence of 72 years are now taking away the very essence of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Freedom of expression is now of the chosen one and those in power.
It’s clear that the media – print, electronic, film or any other, is free to express an opinion and thought, it is only in the larger public interest that there should be some control/restraint howsoever minuscule.
Unlike Middle Eastern nations, India has a free press and a similar opportunity applies to Indian film sector, which is free venture and outside the control of Government with the exception of the Films Division and the Doordarshan, whose objectives are to educate and inform the masses. Thankfully the Indian press is not governed by the ruling power. But what is shocking is the apathy of government when certain elements dictate the creative expressions.
- Freedom of speech is a right given by the constitution under Article 19(1) (a) which says that all people might have “the right to speak freely and articulation”. This simply means to express one’s views and thoughts by listening in on others’ conversations, compositions, print, picture or some other way, including films.
It is, along these lines, clear that while the media – print, electronic, film or some other, is allowed to express conclusion and thought, it is just in the bigger open intrigue that there ought to be some control/limitation howsoever tiny.
Need of certification
Film certification is a final product of the process of previewing of film. It incorporates a choice either not to allow a particular film or public viewing or to allow it for public viewing with certain deletions and/or modifications or at least proper categorization of the films. Furthermore, it is to ensure that the children do not get exposed to psychologically damaging matter.
Every film needs certificates as it will belong to either U, A, UA or S category. It is these categorizations that are essential for public viewing. The CBFC is the only body which certifies Indian films. The aim of this process is read before any film screening is not to harm any one’s emotions or be disrespectful to any community. Since India is very diverse in nature, film certification is a process to stamp the end product. Films have been the common source of entertainment since1913. The Supreme Court in a judgment in 1989 said that film confirmation ends up important in light of the fact that a film spurs thought and activity and guarantees a high level of consideration and maintenance when contrasted with the printed words. Hence we need CBFC only.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CINEMA AND DOCUMENTARIES
Indian films are well known in the world for its song and dance sequences from its initiation period. So in a plot especially a dream anything can happen. So who gives certain groups the right to dictate terms on the creative material? Silver screen films need not require an exact portrayal of history. It is up to the film maker’s innovativeness to pick whether to go amiss from history or not. Indian constitution and CBFC allows them to go fictional from history as it is called freedom of expression. All motion pictures need not require being chronicled documentaries. For facts dear Indians please check out archives in the great Indian libraries. The government funds these institutions for its keep and maintenance. On TV you also have a plethora of channels such as Discovery, Epic, and History etc. These programs will surely give you the educational food sought by the Great Karni Sena.
Indian cinema has been a dream sequence since the black and white era. Cinema is quite fictitious in nature.The scale at which films are made is monetary wise too huge. Indian cinema has been the vehicle to lead its masses to a fantasy world since its birth. Whereas documentaries are fact-based. Some good Indian documentaries to watch without hurting sentiments are Children Of The Inferno, Amma and Appa, Superman of Malegaon, Smile Pinki, Gulabi Gang and Born into Brothels. These are great works and factual.
History it has been said is penned by the victor. Each member in history may have his own peculiar side of the story and occasions that occurred and their causes. People who wrote history have always been from the dominant sections of the society. So the facts have always been coloured through one segment of the society. The world has to learn tolerance for each other views. It will take a long while for history to come close to herstory.
STORM IN A TEACUP
This entire twenty-first century, India is just facing heinous crimes against woman and children. India is flooded with groups and organizations. But are they really protesting against real ground root issues? But who will voice out and stand for the voiceless? India has very few leaders who fight for causes of the real people. Anna Hazare, our late President APJ Abdul Kalam, Irom Sharmila( Manipur’s Iron Lady). We need more leaders and less of politicians.
After 72 years of independence, India’s growth chart is still below the mark compared to other Asian countries. We suffer from illiteracy, extreme corruption, unemployment, hate crimes, poverty, farmer’s suicide etc. This is just to name a few. In this scenario, our Karni Sena brave hearts pick up the sticks to protest, harm and damage the film release of Padmavati. These chivalrous masculine men thought to protect, safeguard and honour of a community as privileged ‘The Rajputs’.
Historians are divided on whether Rani Padmavati even existed and say she is a fictional character first portrayed in a 16th-century poem as having committed Jauhar, the ancient form in which female royals walked into funeral fires to conquer death over dishonour of being taken captive.
STATES THAT SUPPORT THE VIGILANTE METHODS OF PROTEST:
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab, Haryana have objected to the release of the film Padmavati.Many ministers have stated that the release of Padmavati will cause lawlessness to their respective states.
A Cabinet Minister of Rajasthan, Kiran Maheshwari, has railed against the film. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, has said that the “censor board” must go beyond just certifying a film,
As the Supreme Court of India contemplated that a mere threat to public order cannot be a ground to suppress freedom of expression. The Supreme Court has rebuked such politicians (Kiran Maheshwari) by remarking “those holding public office should not comment on such issues.”SC rescues the film Padmavati.Supreme Court dismissed a plea to stay the release and initiate criminal prosecution against Mr Bhansali.
Petition to ban Padmaavat dismissed: On 28 November, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed against the release of Padmaavat. The apex court said that the CBFC considers all aspects before granting a certificate to any film and, therefore, the court should not intervene in the CBFC’s jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court has earlier paved the way for the all-India release of Padmaavat on January 25 and stayed notifications and orders issued by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat — all ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party — prohibiting exhibition of the film in their states.
WHAT IS THE REAL CONCERN
Women’s prestige and honour: 2012 Nirbhaya happened. Almost six years have passed and the situation has, in fact, become worse. In India, any kind of heinous crime is now considered normal. What is humanity? Here eight months get raped? Aren’t we tired of just discussing, debating and marching? When can we as Indians we will have an environment which will be safe for girls from birth? Ramayana has been used a zillion times as the cultural barometer. But men here chose to play characters as per their own choice and convenience. Some want to be Rama and some want to be Lakshman. But in reality, they end up playing just Ravana.
Will the law ever come to play?
And in India, there are so many cultural cops.
One of the custodians being Karni Sena.
(Q)What are their aims and objectives?
(A)Threaten masses, mob violence, and stone the school bus with many children on it, torch bikes, damage public property, instigate woman for self-immolation, and instigate people in the name of community honour.
Can these real men ever fight for real issues? For instance gender crime and other sexual assaults. Only time will tell folks.
The Karni Sena called for a ban on the film, threatening to burn down cinema halls and called a countrywide bandh on December 1.Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab have decided to disallow the screening of the film till December 2017, even as it awaits certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
VIOLENCE AND DAMAGES CAUSED:
Karni Sena has stepped up its aggression, beating up innocents, raising slogans and stones with impunity
Rajput organizations first started causing trouble for the movie. In January 2017, the sets of the movie at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur were destroyed by members of Karni Sena. The fringe group staged an angry protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali, even getting violent with the director. They also destroyed costly film equipment, and the incident stopped the shooting of the movie for a few days.
In March 2017, the sets of the movie in Kolhapur’s Masai plateau were vandalised during the night. The movie’s sets were torched, which not only damaged private property but also hurt animals present there… About 20 to 30 people reached the sets of the film armed with petrol bombs, stones and lathis. Before lighting the set on fire, they torched the fodder for animals and destroyed the costumes. The attacks were staged because fringe Rajput groups claimed that the film has a dream sequence where Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji will be seen being intimate.
A few leaders from the cultural custodian groups such as Karni Sena have declared bounty for beheading Deepika Padukone and Bhansali. Headhunting used to be done in the great Nagaland state which was considered barbaric by the British rulers. What could be said to instigate the crowd for beheading people in this rich heritage of India?
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief media coordinator for Haryana, Suraj Pal Amu threatened West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for supporting Padmavati.
Mahipal Singh Makrana of Rajput Karni Sena warned to cut off Deepika Padukone’s nose if the film is released. Are these people serious as believing themselves to be the brave Lakshman from Ramayana?
Lives of Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali threatened. Death threats made openly. Huge bounty money was offered whoever killed these two film personalities.
On Jan 24th, 2018 around 30 bikes were torched to flames and a few different vehicles which were stationed outside three Ahmedabad shopping centres were harmed by rebels to stall the release of Padmaavat, said the Gujrati police.
Children from Classes 2 to 12 of the GD Goenka World School were in the bus, along with teachers and staff when their bus was pelted with stones. Videos of their violence have gone viral.
Violence has been reported from parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and MP and even UP. There have been reports of protest in parts of Delhi. Rajput Karni Sena has been demanding a ban on the film which the Supreme Court refused.
To what lengths will humanity stoop to get media attention? Has human life’s lost value in this free nation of 72 years. Life has become miserably cheap and the id, ego has become extremely sensitive. Most of the Indian citizens have become extremely touchy about their identities. Remember a comedian Kiku Sharda was booked for mimicking the sentenced rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim. We really need to rationally think before hitting the anger button on other people. Just make peace. Our nation is anyways now very fragile. Become the voice of the voiceless and not some royalties. Rich any which ways are heard so give your strength to those in need.