Padmavati Historical Film Story-plot Controversy revealed: Movie revolves around Rani Padmini, Chittorgarh and Jauhar (Johar)

Padmavati Historical Film Story-plot revealed: Padmavati is an upcoming Indian period drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali .The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role as Rani Padmavati, alongside Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari and Jim Sarbh. The film was originally scheduled for release on 17 November 2017, but protests in Rajasthan impacted filming and the release was pushed to 1 December 2017.
  • The movie starred Deepika Padukone as 'Rani Padmini' ,Shahid Kapoor as 'Rawal Ratan Singh', Ranveer Singh as 'Alauddin Khilji' , Aditi Rao Hydari as 'Kamala Devi' , Jim Sarbh as 'Malik Kafur'.
Pre-production on the film began in July 2016. Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan were Bhansali's initial choice for the roles of Rani Padmini and Maharawal Ratan Singh Sen, however they refused to share the screen together. Many media outlets speculated that Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, who played the leads in Bhansali's Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and Bajirao Mastani (2015), were finalized to play Alauddin Khalji and Rani Padmini (Padmavati) in the film.

Portrait of Rani Padmini.
Portrait of Rani Padmini (Rani Padmavati)

  • In October 2016, it was announced that Bhansali would team up with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures to produce the film with Singh and Padukone along with Shahid Kapoor as Rawal Ratan Singh, playing the lead roles.

What is Padmavati Movie all about ?

The film is an account on the legend of Rani Padmini a legendary Hindu Rajput queen, mentioned in Padmavat an epic poem written in 1540 CE by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. According to Padmavat, she was the wife of Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. In 1303, Alauddin Khilji, the Turkish ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, laid siege to the Chittor Fort in Rajputana. According to Padmavat, Khilji led the invasion motivated by his desire to capture Rani Padmini. Rani Padmini is said to have committed jauhar (self-immolation) to protect her honour.
Portrait of Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Khalji Dynasty.
Portrait of Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Khalji Dynasty.

Padmini, also known as Padmavati, was a legendary 13th-14th century Indian queen (Rani). The earliest source to mention her is Padmavat, an epic poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi which features elements of fantasy, describes her story as follows: Padmavati was an exceptionally beautiful princess of the Singhal kingdom (Sri Lanka). Ratan Sen, the Rajput ruler of Chittor, heard about her beauty from a talking parrot named Hira-man. After an adventurous quest, he married her and brought her to Chittor. Alauddin Khalji, the Sultan of Delhi also heard about her beauty, and attacked Chittor to obtain her. Meanwhile, Ratan Sen was killed in a combat with Devpal, the king of Kumbhalner who was also enamoured with Padmavati's beauty. Before Alauddin Khalji could capture Chittor, Padmavati and her companions committed Jauhar (self-immolation) to protect their honour.

So, Did Rani Padmavati Really Exist?

Who Was Rani Padmini?

  • The greatest question to be considered here, is the very existence of the historical figure called Rani Padmini. 
  • The first mention of Padmini or Padmavati as she is better known, took place in medieval poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poem ‘Padmavat’ in 1540.

According to Jayasi’s version, Rani Padmini was born at some point between the 13th and 14th century, in Simhal Dvipa, former Sri-Lanka. As the story goes, Padmini was noted for her unparalleled beauty and had caught the eye of many suitors. She also had a talking parrot by the name, Hira-mani, who spoke of Padmini’s beauty at length to Chittor’s Rana Ratan Singh, who then proceeded to travel to Simhal Dvipa and win her hand in the swayamvar.
Meanwhile, Delhi had come under the reign of one of the most powerful rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320 approx). Historical records state that he was on a ruthless mission to expand his kingdom and that Rajputana was one of his main targets. Alauddin apparently once received a visitor who turned out to be a banished sorcerer from Rana Ratan Singh’s kingdom. In order to avenge his dismissal, he seeded Alauddin with the idea that he must have this beautiful queen of Chittor. Following this, Alauddin set forth for Chittor, entrapped Rana Ratan Singh and told him that the price for his freedom would be his wife.
What followed was that, according to Jayasi and the variations of his work thereof, Rani Padmini made a plan to rescue her husband with the Rajput army, but it failed and the army lost many of its men. Rana Ratan Singh too was killed in the crossfire and by the time an elated Alauddin entered the castle to claim his prize, Padmini and the other women of Chittor had committed jauhar to save their honour.
Portrait of Rani Padmavati of Chittor, Rajasthan.
Portrait of Rani Padmavati of Chittor, Rajasthan.

That was the end of that tragic story.

But then, besides recorded and verifiable historical facts, there is another set of facts too, culturally constructed and embodied in popular memory, told, retold and retold yet again. The Padmavati story too, like many others, has undergone several mutations. 
Harbans Mukhia to The Quint

Alauddin Khilji may have been called ‘harsh’ in history, but he was possibly one of the most able rulers of that period. 
Tasneem Suhrawardy to The Quint

And finally, in 19th century Bengali literature, Padmavati began to embody the image of a heroic queen committing jauhar in order to save her honour from a lusty Muslim invader. These contained some of the primary mentions of Rani Padmini’s story that took on a communal hue.

These 19th century Bengali works, like Ranglal Bandhopadhyaya’s Padmini Upakhyan (1858), Jyotindranath Tagore’s Sarojini ba Chittor Akraman (1875), Kshiroprasad Vidyavinod’s Padmini (1906) and Abanindranath Tagore’s Rajkahini (1909), all had one thing in common: they all presented the Rajputs as brave sacrificial warriors protecting their women, lands, and importantly, religion, against the lustful ‘Muslim’ aggressor, reports Scroll.

Padmavati Controversy

  • Padmavati, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming epic drama film, remains embroiled in controversy ahead of its release. 
  • Deepika Padukone, the lead actress, received threats yesterday from Rajput group Karni Sena triggering sharp reactions from several quarters. 
  • Ms Padukone has been given special security by Mumbai Police after Karni Sena threatened to chop off her nose. 
  • Another group from Uttar Pradesh Chatriya Samaj issued open threat and announced a reward of Rs. 5 crore for anyone beheading Mr Bhansali or Ms Padukone. 
  • However, several Bollywood actors have come out in support of the movie as the row refuses to die down. 
  • The movie is slated for release on December 1. 
Reference: NDTV
Nov 17, 2017
12:19 (IST)
Rajasthan's Chittorgarh Fort remains closed today amid protests against the movie. The tourists were told to go back in the morning. Vandalism was reported at the 7th century fort earlier when Sanjay Leela Bhansali was shooting the movie here. 

Nov 17, 2017
12:12 (IST)
The protesters have alleged there are factual inaccuracies in the movie. Members of the Karni Sena have claimed the movie is an attempt to defame queen Padmavati.

Nov 17, 2017
11:24 (IST)
A petition has been filed by a lawyer in the Supreme Court against the upcoming Bollywood period drama Padmavati. The petitioner has sought deletion of objectionable scenes from the movie, according to ANI. The top court has said it would consider the plea. 


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