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Art of life

17 Nov. 2017 11:08 PM IST

They say it is more often that life imitates art then when art imitates life. The latter appears to be the core of the film Padmavati , which is based on the story of Rani Padmini, who performed jauhar to evade capture from Alauddin Khilji and his army after they breeched the fort of Chittor. Actor Ranveer Singh plays the role of Alauddin Khilji while Shahid Kapoor plays the role of Maharawal Ratan Singh. A big question doing the rounds on social media is – whether Alauddin Khilji really saw the legendary beauty of Rani Padmini? On this the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) board at the entrance to ‘Padmini Palace’ in Chittorgarh carries this legend, “It is said that here Mahrawal Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of the legendary beauty of his wife Rani Padmini to Alauddin Khilji through a mirror. After which, Alauddin Khilji went to the extent of ravaging Chittaur in order to possess her.” Thus, according to ASI, Alauddin Khilji saw the beauty of Rani Padmini through a mirror and reportedly went to the extent of ravaging Chittaur in order to possess her. At present, the room, where Maharawal Ratan Singh is said to have showed Rani Padmini’s glimpse to Khilji, is sealed. Reportedly, Padmini stayed at ‘Jal Mahal’ when Khilji saw a glimpse of her. The story of Rani Padmini evokes exceptionally strong emotion among the people of Chittorgarh. This emotion has also seen the rise of certain elements that have resorted to violence and intimidation against any perceived negative comment on Rani Padmini In March this year, Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS) vandalised the mirrors. They reasoned that no mirrors existed in 1303. In Padmavati, Deepika Padukone plays the role of the Chittor queen, Shahid Kapoor features as Raja Ratan Singh while Ranveer Singh portrays Alauddin Khilji.The film is scheduled to be released on December 1. The Karni Sena has vandalised cinema halls which were to show trailer of Rani Padmini. The outfit has even threatened to launch a violent movement in several north Indian states if the film is not banned. The ire against the film was that it contained a scene about a dream sequence showing Padmini with Alaudin Khilji. The film makers have dismissed such speculations but unfortunately for the extreme elements, it is enough ammunition to demand a ban on the film. It does not need a scene to rouse communal sentiments; just the film about a Muslim King and a Hindu Queen is enough to cause communal fire. The BJP appears to be playing its own game of running with the hare and hunting with the hound on such matters. BJP governments in Rajasthan, UP and Madhya Pradesh have not arrested or charged the Karni Sena under relevant sections of the law. With the rise of BJP in north India, such so-called fringe elements have become brazen while the state governments appear to be doing precious little. In the Rani Padmini episode, even Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has not uttered a single word. Perhaps he thinks that it is prudent not to provoke the fringe elements in states where the Congress is seeking to regain power. The rise of the intolerant brigade puts India to shame and makes a mockery of the serious efforts of the government to attract foreign investors if such matters continue to wreak havoc on society.

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