‘Padmavati’ protests overhyped, we have to stop this nonsense: Kanwarani of Badnore

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New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) Kanwarani Archana Singh, who belongs to an erstwhile royal Rajput family and is married to another royal, Kanwar Ranjay Singh of Badnore in Rajasthan, says the protests over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” are overhyped, and one has to “stop the nonsense”.

Singh says she would like to see the film first before reacting and everyone should do the same instead of being “intolerant”.

“I think ‘Padmavati’ has been convoluted completely. I know a boy who worked very close with Bhansali in the production of the film and he said that there is not a (single) shot that you can fault with, and he is a Rajput himself. He also said that after seeing the film, the Rajputs would hug him (Bhansali),” Archana Singh told IANS on the sidelines of winter edition of Royal Fables’ Palace Karkhana, here.

The Karni Sena and other Rajput communities are demanding a ban on the film, claiming it has “distorted history”. Certain scenes and sequences, including a dance number by queen Padmavati, played by actress Deepika Padukone, and some other aspects of the movie have angered the Rajput community who term it as “erroneous” and an “insulting” depiction.

Bhansali screened the film for a few media persons even before the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had cleared it, adding to the entire controversy.

The protest escalated on Friday when a dead body with anti-Padmavati slogans was found hanging at a fort in Rajasthan.

Talking about the agitation, Archana Singh told IANS: “It’s ridiculous. I am a Rajput, but so many Rajputs have come out in favour of the violence that is happening. It’s not correct. See the film and then decide. People don’t even want to see the film.

“We have to stop this nonsense. Be tolerant, see it, believe it and then act but don’t react. You tend to react all the time. We have become intolerant completely,” she added.

She also says the entire incidence is overhyped.

“I think it’s overhyped. Perhaps there was a bit of PR stint here where initially we heard that there is a dream sequence of Rani Padmavati sharing screen space with Alauddin Khilji and that got everyone boiled up. That’s not true and it doesn’t even exist in the movie.

“Yes, ‘Padmavati’ existed. I belong from Mewar and she was of course the Chittor princess from Mewar, so she did exist and Jauhar (Hindu custom of mass self-immolation by women in parts of India to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by any foreign invader) did happen but this bit (romance of Khilji with Padmavati) is completely fictionalised.

“Having said that, it is overhyped and there is over reaction. People are not even waiting to see the film to give an opinion,” she said.

In the film, Shahid Kapoor features as Padmavati’s husband and a warrior king, and Ranveer Singh essays Alauddin Khilji.

However, Archana Singh has a piece of advice for Bhansali.

“I do feel that Bhansali is a brilliant filmmaker and I have seen every film of his. The way he details his frames is brilliant. The only thing I would like to tell him is that if he wants to take cinematic liberties, don’t use historical names, just go completely fictional,” she said.

(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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