The scion of India's one of the oldest lineages in Mewar, Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, came out on social media to voice his dissent on the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's epic film Padmavati. Belonging to the roots where he was brought up respecting his rich history and culture, the prince said that the film was violating the ideologies of "creative freedom" by distorting history, which is not acceptable in any way.
Appreciating the nation-wide protests against the film, he however called for non-violent protests and requested the participants to question the ethics of the film, its maker and the cast, without being extreme in their expression of disagreement.
Speaking in an audio post on his official Facebook account, he is heard saying," raising our voices against a film like Padmavati is easy, but does that lead to a solution? Perhaps not."
Further questioning the sense of responsibility of the director and the star cast of the film, he said," Giving a rich film like Padmavati an entertaining angle is something that our culture does not teach us. I also wish to ask the cast in the film if money was everything for you. Didn't you realise that you were violating the sanctum santorum of an artist who is responsible for the correct artistic interpretation of a subject as rich as this. Were you true to it? Do we, as the legionaries of the Marwari culture, have to prove our dedication to the rich heritage of the country? Mewar condemns the way the culture of the land has been depicted. We should unite in our condemnation of the film, instead of criticising each other."
"It is my eager request to the Government of India to make laws and implement them when it comes to cultural representations in films. So that people think before distorting the cultural heritage and the meaning it holds for the people of Mewar and the entire country. I would be disappointed if the voices of the people do not reach the government. However, I also expect that the movement that people have started unitedly should be within the judicial precincts of law and order," he further added.
As the audio went viral on Facebook, reaching 19,000 views and 5,255 shares, the prince's Twitter account too exploded with comments supporting his ideas.
Maharaj Kumar @lakshyarajmewar of the House of Mewar speaks to @WIONews on the #PadmavatiControversy . Says film should not be released, terms the violent protests as wrong and requests people to protest as per the laws of India.https://t.co/C2tS33mcXj— Digvijay Singh Deo (@DiggySinghDeo) November 16, 2017
आप बिलकुल सही कह रहे हो।— Aakash jageerdar ⏺ (@AakashJageerdar) November 15, 2017
कोई भी फ़िल्मकार हो उसको इतिहास से छेड़छाड़ करने की अनुमति नहीं है।
इस फिल्म का पुरे भारत देश में विरोध हो रहा हे।
The posts came to light after right wing activists of Karni Sena from Rajasthan threatened the lead actress of the film-Deepika Padukone and said that they would chop her nose off. Releasing a visual, the leader of the group said, "Rajputs never raise a hand on women but if need be, we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Shurpanakha." According to a report by the NDTV, the group has also called for a bandh across the country on December 1, the day the film is scheduled to release.
Meanwhile, the threat prompted Mumbai Police to increase the actor's security cover. Police said, "We are providing her adequate security after the threat... The police will provide security at her residence as well as office in Mumbai." Padmavati is based on the legend of Rani Padmini of Chittor and critics, mostly Rajputs, say the film wrongly implies the romantic relation between the queen and Emperor Alauddin Khilji. Earlier this week, fringe groups vandalised public property and destroyed shops. One group also threatened to send signatures in blood to the Censor Board to demand that the film not be cleared for release.