Padmavat Row – Why We Can’t Be Blind About Creative Freedom

Lecture

Padmaavat Poster
Padmaavat Poster

It is probably a great irony that a writer for men’s rights is writing about dignity and respect of women. It is another irony that a writer is forced to write against allowing everything in the name of creative freedom. But this has become the need of the hour especially when we see a valiant section of our population who has been contributing to building this nation is attacked in the name of unnecessary creative freedom and the sentiments of a large section of Rajputs who had been great warriors of all times is trampled upon. This has also got legal sanction with even Supreme Court rejecting the plea to stop this mayhem on their sentiments as CBFC has given this film the freedom to be released on 25th January.

The Concern With SC Order

In their order, Supreme Court of India said, since CBFC has given clearance to the movie Padmaavat they have nothing else to do. They also mentioned that one is free not to watch the film. However, the concern was never whether people should watch it, concern was how could a movie openly shame a woman who was highly respected and worshipped by a valiant community. Was Supreme Court too naïve to understand this concern? If yes, then their value of being there is in question. If not, then they have just shown that they themselves don’t respect women. If they did, they would have stopped such onslaught on a Queen’s dignity, they would have stopped this representation of a woman as a commodity. also, if SC didn’t want to interfere into designated authority’s (CBFC) decision, then why did they do so in Hindu temples that are governed by independent governing bodies?

Surprisingly, Women’s Ministry and women’s NGOs also didn’t stop the businessmen, no Bollywood celebrity came forward in support of a woman’s dignity. In fact, the hypocrites of Bollywood observed ‘seize of work’ in support of Padmaavat. None of these hypocrites who give common people unnecessary lecture on ‘respecting’ women, actually stopped the filmmakers who went out to sell Padmini in global market.

The Historic Mayhem

The news that CBFC has accepted the film after consultation with historians and with some cuts may ignite thoughts that they have done their due diligence but the reality is not same. The name change for example, was frivolous as the legend of ‘Padmaavati’ was also known as ‘Padmaavat’. So, this change actually does not take off the reference from the historic queen. If they really needed to remove the reference, why didn’t they change it to something irrelevant, like ‘Fairy Queen’ or ‘Historic Queen’ or something completely irrelevant that could have taken away the whole reference to history.

Initially, the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, stated he had represented the history but then the history itself was in question. Because the history is also colored and the Royal family has expressed their displeasure over showing the distorted facts and features as history. A royal family lady dancing in lusty moves in front of commoners itself is a big disrespect for the family and the woman in question. Some historians even raised the question that if queen Padmini really existed. But the question on creative freedom is not whether she existed, question is how the Rajput culture and Rajput Royal Family was shown in the movie, even after all the CBFC cuts.

Cultural Concerns

After the release of the trailer, the main concern of Rajput Royals was not only that their Queen Padmini was made to dance in public but was also made to show pervert bodily moves in a lusty manner. A highly degrading bodily display for any Aristocratic Royal family lady. This however doesn’t go well with modern aristocrats who can earn millions by showing their body in Bollywood movies. Women like Deepika Padukone, whose best empowerment was reflected in her My Choice video where she showed how low she could stoop to stay in the headlines has stolen the definition of aristocrat woman today.

Those who can’t go beyond showing off skin and lusty moves, how will they understand what aristocracy and respect really meant for Royals? If Royals of medieval India and especially royals of Rajputana had earned enormous respect from the society and the high standards of living, rich heritage and Indian culture was respected all over the world it was because of the social values India had. That culture didn’t mean showing lusty moves or bodily curves of their women to the world. Women earned enormous respect even though they stayed inside their homes.

If we see the travel tales of Arabian traders who came to India during that time (13-14 th century) which is translated into French and then was translated into English by a British scholar we will know the social situation. The foreign traders were surprised to see high living standards in India, the highest form of human ethics and values existing in the country. How Indian society had maintained law and order based on a strong value system. British scholar Lt. Col. James Todd in his early 19th Century work on Rajputana has given some of those examples.

The Rotten Values of Bollywood

Today, hardly anyone understand that Indian value system because we Hindus have given up our culture under western influence. There is nothing that is Royal today. Bollywood has the most corrupt value system, because their primary aim is to make money by showing whatever they can. How will some humans with animal values understand what aristocracy and culture really meant? Animals don’t have any culture, they don’t understand culture hence they don’t create history; for them moving around freely, eating whatever they can and fulfilling their carnal desires is ALL about life. It takes humans to understand human values.

Women in mediaeval India were not only protected and respected but they were worshipped as Devi (Goddess) and Mata (mother). But how would the monsters of today’s India, who didn’t try to learn their cultural values but took pride in some vague western values; who discarded their own heritage as junk, will understand? Their value system is developed and maintained by their carnal desires, be in the name of feminism or otherwise. Ironically, very often it is this same set of people give us gyan (free speech) about respecting women, valuing them. The way they are out to shame a woman of a brave community, the way these people are out to shame their culture and heritage; given a chance they will sell their own mothers to global audience to do business. They now have the approval from even Supreme Court of India to do that.

Roughly two years ago, Deepika Padukone showed in My Choice video that living in a self-centered way is her way of life. A life where only sex and rotten values were promoted as empowering women. This was her creative freedom, to take the nation to hell. Because it was not her choice alone, because if it was only her choice she could have kept it private and we would not have bothered. But she wanted to spread the venom to the younger generation risking the fallen value system of the whole country. All in the name of creative freedom.

But in Padmaavat, she didn’t think before violating the choice and freedom of the Royal family and the Rajput community. How can her choice in Padmaavat infringe upon the choice and right of a respectable family and a large community? How can the makers use someone else’s name, for their cheap monetary benefits without their permission? How can they show someone who is considered and respected as a devi (goddess) as a woman who shows her lusty moves to the world? Because in the movie when we see Deepika dance, we do not see her but we see Rani Padmini dancing, and a queen showing her hip movements to the world is actually showing herself as a sex object, as a commodity. Will the crew and cast of the movie do the same to their own mothers? Or in the name of creative freedom they can also sell their own mothers and daughters? How will they ever know what love, respect really meant? For them the whole world and their relations are business opportunities and they come masquerading as feminists. It can’t be Deepika’s choice, because in the movie she was impersonating someone else.

The RIGHT of The Viewers

Many Hindus, in order to show their progressiveness had claimed that they reject the rules of what they called ‘cultural thugs’, and vowed to watch the movie to simply put down cultural hooliganism (like what probably even I am doing). They said, it is their RIGHT to decide what they wanted to see. This statement alone is enough to understand their moral standards. When someone’s mother was sold to the global audience, when her body was the main attraction for earning money, and when they (Rajputs) were lamenting and crying over this, these people openly rejoiced, openly showed how keen they were to watch the community being shamed. I just wonder what they will feel if someone else do the same thing with their mother? These people didn’t understand how much hurtful could be these statements to those communities that considered Rani Padmini as their mother and worshipped her.

So, first we see a RIGHT is sought under creative freedom to create whatever, then there came another RIGHT to influence people to watch the creative junk. So, in order to proclaim their right, they actually wanted others to join the cultural mayhem with them that basically shamed a community. Can these liberal viewers exercise their RIGHT by violating someone else’s right to have dignity? How can they show such a high standard of disrespect for valiant Rajput community and a highly respected royal family? Is this what we as a nation can give to a brave community? And today, when their mother is shamed openly, they are also termed as fringe groups, cultural thugs etc.

Even Khilji Didn’t Behave The Way India Is Behaving Today

As the legend of Padmini goes, Khilji could see her only on a mirror and not directly face-to-face. When Rajputs sent palanquins to Khilji, saying those palanquins had the queen and her maids in them, no soldier of Ala-ud-din-Khlji came to check the palanquins, because in that age it was a sin to see other women like that. That was the respect royal women had. But today, it is shown in the Padmaavat, that the queen is dancing with her pelvic moves with other commoners. This projection of the queen is nothing but presenting her as a commodity, and the ‘respect women’ hypocrites are behind this.

Why Creative Freedom Needs to Have Boundaries

Earlier we have seen Hindu Devi Sarawati (Goddess of Education) was painted in nude by M F Hussein as Creative Freedom and nothing happened to him. Then a group of intellectuals who speak about respect for women etc., came out in his support. This is an example of how much feminists really respect women. Now we see another legendary woman marred into controversy and a community disrespected openly.

If CBFC didn’t find any problem with the Ghoomar dance, then that itself is a big problem and raises serious question about the need of having CBFC there. Are they really doing any meaningful work or they are just there and can be bought for money. Did the historians CBFC invited to see the movie and give opinion about, did check cultural concerns? How did they approve a queen dancing in public as a probable historic manifestation in the first place? or is it that they didn’t want to take a call on controversial and sensitive topic of creative freedom? Looks like none of the so called ‘liberals’ really care.

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