Historian on Padmavati review panel cautions against distortions

Updated: Dec 27, 2017, 08:53 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

The debate surrounding the historical authenticity of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati continues. The film awaits a nod from the CBFC, and will only be certified after a panel of historians reviews it next month

The debate surrounding the historical authenticity of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati continues. The film awaits a nod from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), and will only be certified after a panel of historians reviews it next month. A source says, "A four-member board has been set up. They will meet the Censor Board officials next month. The film will be reviewed in two parts."

Deepika Padukone in Padmavati
Deepika Padukone in Padmavati

Dr BL Gupta, a history professor from the University of Rajasthan, is part of the panel. He tells mid-day, "I am all for artistic freedom and one's right to express, but that must not happen at the cost of history. It must be understood that as historians, we aren't backing any political party or artistic view. We will only state historical facts to the best of our knowledge."

Quiz him about his concerns and the historian says prima facie, the film looks like an improper mix of folklore and history. "Bhansali credits Padmavat — an epic poem written in 1540 by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi — as his source. But when you make a movie on an incident that highlights the social scenario and the political climate of an era, you are mixing folktale with history. The war between Alauddin Khilji and Rawal Ratan Singh is not fiction. It's not a concocted story." Gupta adds that the jauhar scene in the Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor starrer is also cause for worry. "It's an age-old custom, which, if not seen in the right context, could have grave repercussions in modern times. It's not something that should be romanticised for cinema."

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