Clamorworld Special: Padmavati & The Tale Of Mistaken Agenda
I am sure by now most of us Indians have formed an opinion about the film, Padmavati. Guess, it will be futile to delve into the details about what the films show and the potential impact on us. A ot has already been spoken across social media, newspapers and television channels. Anybody, who is somebody, has voiced a point of view about the film, the director and cast aspersions on the moral implication of the film.
What amazes me most is so much has been said or done about the film primarily on the basis of few clips. As a student of art and all forms of expression, I believe the primary need is that every stake holder in this case needs to have a fair hearing. One sided, pre-decided judgement is detrimental both for the cause of cinema as well as our social evolution. There has been also an aggressive duel of words about how this is BJP’s ploy to divert attention ahead of Gujarat elections. All that aside, there are more problems with the Padmavati furore.
The next point that I choose to highlight is the lack of authentic and scholarly backing of historical nuggets that are being frivolously thrown around as gospel of truth. As Indians I believe that one of our biggest shortcoming is the lack of an Indian account of the Indian history. Most of what we read today is either the Mughal or the British account. Needless to mention that, there is always the so called, ‘outsider’s bias’. So who Padmavati was and how she defended her honour is perhaps completely in the realms of imagination and fantasy telling. The works of some of the recent scholars in putting forth the actual history or at least nuggets of them is truly commendable in this context.
But perhaps the question that offends me most is how a segment of so called ‘pundits’ want us to believe that this film is against the honour and morality of Indian women, especially Rajput women. I am absolutely amused. Just for clarification, I want to highlight all those innumerable Hindi commercial hits where the women is nothing but a pretty Barbie prancing around bushes and toeing the patriarchial society’s well chalked out rules. Isn’t that a blow to the women’s very existence in the Indian society. Are we mere puppets who look pretty, dress-up to please our husbands and then marry and have kids?!
When you talk about influence I have another point as well. We have many films about the martyrdom of our great freedom fighters. Can you point out even a handful who were inspired to sacrifice their lives after watching the movie. Those at the borders and in the army who put their life at stake did not need any movie to motivate them then why do Indian women need a movie to dictate their morality and sense of honour?