Condemning those protesting against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati on the grounds that it is an alleged insult to their honour, former union minister Shashi Tharoor recently appeared to have cowed down from the earlier stance he had on the issue.
Tharoor Tweeted, “As for specific concerns of the Rajput community, people’s sentiments must be respected in the interests of India’s diversity and harmony. Rajput valour is part of our history and is not in question. BJP and its censors should take these concerns into account.”
This comes close on the heels of the controversy when Tharoor questioned the valour of legendary Rajput kings, saying the “so-called valourous maharajas” had scuttled to accommodate themselves when British “trampled” over their honour and were now after a filmmaker claiming prestige was at stake.
“In fact, every single one of these so-called valorous maharajas, who today are after a Mumbai filmmaker because their honour is at stake, they were less concerned about their honour when the British were trampling all over it. They scurried to accommodate themselves. So let’s face it, there is no question, that we were complicit,” he said at a literary event in Mumbai.
Congress functionary’s comments come at a time when Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Padmavati’ has been in the eye of a storm as Karni Sena and other outfits have accused the filmmaker of distorting history and thereby hurting Hindu sentiments.
Describing the movie as a desperate attempt at rebranding to the protestors, Khilji is referred to as the ‘People’s King’ who implemented a series of reforms that included a new taxation system and the introduction of an espionage system ostensibly for the welfare of the people, which is the bone of contention between the Karni Sena and the producers of the country.
Among his other achievements is cited the successful fending off of sequential Mongol invasions, while his subsequent criticism in Indian history as a cruel despot is blamed at Rajputs and other Hindu powerbrokers who got shunted out of the system when Khilji implemented his series of wide-ranging agrarian and fiscal ‘reforms’.
The controversy over the film had taken an unpleasant turn recently when a Karni Sena volunteer cited Ramayana’s Surpanakha nose-chopping incident and warned Deepika Padukone against “inciting” sentiments.
Following this the Mumbai Police beefed up the security cover of Padukone. Extra pairs of boots have also been deployed to ensure security at the creative Bhansali’s residence in Versova in the Mumbai.