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Talk Point: Sacrifice of Padmavati is a virtue that must not be made the subject of entertainment

Author: Vijay Tiwari
Publication: The Print
Date: November 14, 2017
URL:   https://theprint.in/2017/11/14/talk-point-sacrifice-of-padmavati-is-a-virtue-that-must-not-be-made-the-subject-of-entertainment/amp/

The debate around the historical accuracy of fictional cinema like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film Padmavati raises critical questions, once again, about barring art for  hurting ‘public sentiment’. Once approved by the censor board, must there be any other tests that movies need to pass? ThePrint asks a panel of experts:

Should concerns of a particular community come in the way of Padmavati’s release?

I firmly believe that the movie Padmavati must be banned. It insults the character of a woman who has been viewed a great example of sacrifice. Sacrifice is a virtue that must not be made the subject of entertainment. Movies only seek to entertain and her jauhar (sacrifice) must be respected, not used to make profit.

People often get influenced by movies, they steal, they imitate, sometimes even commit crimes. That is precisely why historical films must not distort facts. They must be true to the characters and I believe that by portraying a woman of such great sacrifice as a dancer, they are trivialising her character. She must not be portrayed as a dancer. If there is a record stating that she performed ‘ghoomar’ the way it has been depicted, then it’s still acceptable. Otherwise, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati must not be screened.

Hindu characters are often a soft target for such manipulation. M.F. Hussain’s paintings made a mockery of our religion, after that, the film PK yet again mocked the Hindu gods. Why aren’t other faiths targeted? Why don’t we depict other historical personalities belonging to other religions in such light? Why is it that Hinduism and Hindu historical figures become the receptacle of such jokes?

The movie hasn’t been released yet and we are basing our judgments only on what we have seen. If it distorts historical facts in anyway, it must not be released and we must determine that for certain before it can reach a mass audience and influence them wrongly.

- Vijay Tiwari is a spokesperson for Vishwa Hindu Parishad
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