At last all the hue and cry about Padmavati or Padmavat is over. The film has finally been released, with both Deepika’s head and nose where they should be on her shoulders and on the face respectively. One is left wondering why this turmoil happened! We had words such as Rajput Honour, Freedom of Expression, Intolerance of the Fringe, (who is the Fringe); bandied about. We were told that there was no historical proof that there was someone like Rani Padmini as she was fictional character. But when we go to Chittorgarh, the guide there informs us that there were three major Jauhars — one of which was that of Rani Padmini and ladies of her court to escape from the humiliation of capture by the enemy Alauddin Khilji. We did study about this Khilji in our history books or is someone going to come and tell us that this too was fictional!
What we learnt about Rajput Honour, was that they were brave and honourable; they preferred to die fighting for right than fall into the hands of the enemy and face dishonour — this was the case of both men and women. The men fought on the battle fields with a saffron or Kesari turban which spoke of their resolve to return victorious or fall in the battlefield and the women embraced the fire. They were brave who died for what they believed in.
But we saw the Rajput honour being fought on battlefield of streets against Malls, School Buses with small children on board. How were these persons and things hurting Rajput Honour? Seeing this lay people start wondering – we worship and honour the Satittva of the Rajputani women of that time and the men who laid down their lives for the honour of one women whose honour was being humiliated by this Khillji; but today those who are coming forward to defend her honour are endangering lives of little children and innocent people.
Again, the maximum violence was seen in Gurugram, Haryana, which has seen the numerous gang rapes in recent times with no action from anyone be it the government or these brave Rajputs fighting for Sati Rani’s Honour. We feel like asking “Does not the honour and satittva of these modern Padmini’s matter to you”. And this puts us ordinary citizens in a quandary just like Hamlet “To be or not to be” — should we join you or not. But one thing I am sure if any of our mighty Rajputani Satis saw what has been happening in their country, they would say, ‘Our Honour is safe whether you perceive it so or not; Posterity respects us and always shall salute our bravery; but you young girls become warriors! In our times our men died for our honour but now I see that they are more concerned about us and not you. They would say “Betiyo viraanganai bano, hamare jamane mein hamare purshomein paurushatva tha vo hamare liye mar mite, abhi Kaliyug hai in logope bharosa mat karana inke khaneke data ek hai aur dikhane ke data dusare”
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)