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PADMAVATI - KARNI KYA & KATHNI KYA!
Have you watched Padmaavat? Say something totally non-sense!
- S Pal
Have you watched Padmaavat? Say something totally non-sense!



"THERE IS NOTHING OBJECTIONABLE in the film."
 
And there cannot be a worse defence of the right of a film maker to make a film, or the right of the people to watch that film.

"Believe me I have watched the movie. It only glorifies Rajput culture."

That's a statement most dangerous to the idea of a citizenry equipped with rights, much more dangerous than any Karni Sena.

Audiences spilling out of theatres across India after watching Padmaavat are finding television microphones thrust into their faces. Excited at possibly making it to the prime time news bulletins, they are saying the most liberal stuff they have heard so far on television.

"It's a very nice movie...Acting is also good. Everything is good. Rajput culture very nice. Nothing against Rajput culture...People should watch the film before protesting."
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Indian media used to have lesser space for loonies. Then, it accommodated them in the "fringe" category. Soon, the fringe became the centre. Much of it rallied around Arnab Goswami in TV studios, or around his clones on other television channels.
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From Harbans Singh of Model Gram, Ludhiana to Reema Kajaria of Aligarh Muslim University, from Teja Sidhu from Basti Bawa Khel, Jalandhar to Sheel Tiwari of Greater Noida, from Saji Nariappa of Coimbatore to Sushma Berlia of Guwahati, they find this stuff politically correct. As do most top anchors and journalists.

It is here that we are losing the argument to Karni Sena. Every day. With every sound byte.

This is the most potent defence of those who hurled stones at a bus full of little children.

Innumerable television anchors have spewed the same words, and they have not been shamed. It is time to call them out.

Such a defence legitimises every threat to behead the film maker, every claim that Rajputs have not stopped cutting off women's noses, and every stone thrown at a cinema house.

If the nation wanted a wrong answer, it is finally getting one. 

When Arnab Goswami had watched the film, he praised it "because far from an intimate moment, Alauddin Khilji and Padmawati, that is, Ranvir and Deepika, don't even share one single frame together in the film.”

"The romance between Rana Rattan Singh and Padmawati is subtle and so delicately portrayed,” he said. His understanding of cinema can be excused. He is no expert. But what he said was a strong defence of Karni Sena. "Every scene in this film is a fluid cinematic tribute to Rani Padmawati's greatness," Goswami said. Lokendra Singh Kalvi would have celebrated.
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Just ask yourself now if a film maker will ever be ready to make a film critical of the Rajput community, or of any ritual of any community? 
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After all, it is exactly Kalvi's argument that any film maker touching the subject should ensure that Rani Padmawati's greatness must be celebrated.

Indian politics has much space for Kalvi. His dad Kalyan Singh Kalvi was a minister in the BJP government of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and then at the Centre during the short-lived Chandra Shekhar government. 

Indian media used to have lesser space for loonies. Then, it accommodated them in the "fringe" category. Soon, the fringe became the centre. Much of it rallied around Arnab Goswami in TV studios, or around his clones on other television channels.

Now, victory beckons them when apparently liberal anchors and discussants refuse to discuss if Padmawati is a myth or history and actually discuss if Deepika Padukone and Ranvir Singh share a single frame.

Just ask yourself now if a film maker will ever be ready to make a film critical of the Rajput community, or of any ritual of any community? 
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So, if some of our youth now find Karni Sena on the wrong wicket, it will be only because there are no intimate scenes between Khilji and Padmawati, not because it created terror, violated rule of law, held people to ransom, made India cut a sorry figure globally. 
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Liberal media personalities have now virtually taken a stance that Karni Sena would have been right in administering public beatings to innocent Indian citizens, setting malls afire, smashing glass windows, vandalising theatres, and issuing assassination rate cards and threats of non-surgical chopping off of the part on a person's face containing nostrils used for breathing, smelling and scoffing at fake nationalist agendas, if, and if only, Deepika Padukone and Ranvir Singh had been in the same frame.

Clearly, I owe my nose to Sanjay Leela Bhansali now.

If the romance between Rana Rattan Singh and Padmawati had not been portrayed in so subtle or delicate a manner, Karni Sena had a very just cause for which it must be excused for falling back on the time honoured tradition of chopping women's noses -- that is the line propagated by liberal media now.
 
So, if some of our youth now find Karni Sena on the wrong wicket, it will be only because there are no intimate scenes between Khilji and Padmawati, not because it created terror, violated rule of law, held people to ransom, made India cut a sorry figure globally. 

Karni Sena would have been not just right, but righteous, if the movie had shown a romance, or even a whiff of romance, between Khilji and Padmawati. That's music for Karni Sena's ears. It knows it has ended all debate on Sexy Durga. Who will defend S. Durga now when they did not stand up for a 14 century queen's "i", leaving her to look like Padmaavat?
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Tomorrow, someone would want to make a movie on Thangjam Manorama (1970–2004), and the Indian Army will have a legitimate right to be shown the film first. The 17th Assam Rifles will have an even deeper interest in it. (Google it to find out why.)
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The liberals, with such defence, have made it clear that they cannot be counted on for support if someone were to make a film or deliver a speech questioning the notion of committing johar (self-immolation) as an indicator of pride. 

The worse question one can raise while criticising someone for demanding a ban on the film is — "Have you even seen the film?”

That would mean that if you have watched the film and have found a just cause, then forget the censor board, you should be heard and you have a plausible cause to vandalise.

The worst answer we can find is that we have watched the film, and it is beautiful. If it were not "beautiful” to them, then?

A democracy is strong only if you have the right to make a film that offends me. We need to stand up for the right of people to make films. Our right to watch them. Or not to watch them.

My sense of cinema comes from Kubrick, Coppola, Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Fellini, Scorsese, as a kid even George Lucas, lately even Nolan, Robert Zemeckis, and after Spotlight, even Tom McCarthy. 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is not on that list, and I doubt if he ever will be. But I will be less of a film lover if I did not stand up for his right to shoot Deepika and Ranvir in the same frame. And to take liberty with history.
 

Right now, it is the loony brigade that is taking liberties with history.

And then there is the demand that Bhansali should have first shown it to Karni Sena.
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Deepika’s midriff can become the touchstone of Indian democracy only when loonies move centre, and liberals absorb loony talk.
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Tomorrow, someone would want to make a movie on Thangjam Manorama (1970–2004), and the Indian Army will have a legitimate right to be shown the film first. The 17th Assam Rifles will have an even deeper interest in it. (Google it to find out why.)
 

Who all would demand to be shown first a film made on militancy in Kashmir? Hurriyat? The Indian State? The Abdullahs? Muftis? Mirwaiz? Gilani? Pakistan? Hafiz Syed?
 
Look around to see who all are you standing up for in television studios!

"The movie shows Rajput culture very nicely," is the worst thing to say to defend the rights of Indian citizens.

A pakoda seller has the right to call himself unemployed, or underemployed. That's the debate that makes us liberals. 

Our right to not see our Prime Minister being interviewed by disgraced, tainted journalists is the guarantee for our freedom of expression.

Deepika’s midriff can become the touchstone of Indian democracy only when loonies move centre, and liberals absorb loony talk.

It just happened on a channel near you.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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