The protectors of history have once again picked up cudgels against Bollywood. After the protests against Padmaavat, opposition has now been raised against Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi which stars Kangana Ranaut, said media reports. The film is based on the life of the queen of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai, who was a prominent freedom fighter as well. While the filmmakers have already clarified that the film is not a biopic, a Hindu group, Sarva Brahman Mahasabha, is questioning the alleged “distortion of facts”.
Hindustan Times reported that the outfit's president Suresh Mishra alleged that the film distorts history regarding Laxmi Bai and depicts a love affair between her and a British man. “We learnt about it from our friends and acquaintances in various parts of Rajasthan where some scenes of the film are being shot. The film is based on a foreigner’s book and tries to dampen the queen’s reputation,” said Mishra. Mishra also said that his organisation is opposed to distorted portrayal of historical figures for commercial motives.
Mishra is also a secretary with the state Congress unit, according to The Indian Express. He said if their concerns are not addressed, “Brahman Mahasabha will not let the movie be shot here and will disrupt its shooting.”
According to their website, the Mahasabha aims to save the culture through the system of reading of Sanskrit and to promote the national language Hindi. It also wants to encourage and organise Brahmans and establish unity as well as to encourage meritorious students to get higher education.
The Mahasabha had also hit the news in November when it had joined the Sri Rajput Karni Sena in the protest against Padmaavat. Mishra had then said that they will not tolerate "distortion" of historical facts at any cost. He had also said that, "As per the feelings of the general public, screening of this movie should be stopped otherwise the Sarva Brahman Mahasabha will oppose this movie. They (Sanjay Leela Bhansali's team) are trying to defame Padmavati by distorting historical facts. No one can tolerate this."
Mishra had also told DNA that, "The film must be shown to a 15-member panel of experts from the state. The panel should include subject experts from history. If they give a green signal that the film does not distort historical facts and has no imaginary love scenes between Allaudin Khilji and Rani Padmawati, only then will we take back our opposition.” The Mahasabha had also launched a blood signature campaign against Padmaavat
Padmaavat was not the first time the Mahasabha took the Karni Sena's lead as in February 2017, after the Karni Sena had asked for a revision of the reservation system, the Mahasabha too had jumped on the bandwagon, according to The Times of India. It had asked the government to clear its stand on the reservation promised to economically backward classes and also demanded the creation of a Rs 1000-crore fund on the lines of Dev Narayan Board for the EBCs.
In the early part of the century, the Mahasabha was known for spearheading a campaign for reservation to Brahmans in jobs and education, according to The Hindu. Interestingly, the outfit was not in sync with the mainstream saffron parties as it had opposed the BJP in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections in view of its "discrimination" against the Brahman community in the distribution of tickets in Rajasthan.
With inputs from IANS.
Updated Date: Feb 06, 2018 13:45 PM