With 7 lakh ‘foot-soldiers’, Karni Sena aims to fight distortion of history

The main Karni Sena faction is led by Mahipal Singh, who organised Friday’s protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie Padmavati at Jaigarh Fort.

Written by Mahim Pratap Singh , Mohammad Hamza Khan | Jaipur | Updated: January 31, 2017 1:50 pm
sanjay leela bhansali, bhansali, padmavati controversy, bhansali slapped, bhansali attacked, karni sena, rajput group attacks bhansali, Shri Rajput Karni Sena, karni sena background, india news Karni Sena activists protest against the shooting of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upconimg film ‘Padmawati’ alleging depiction of ‘wrong facts’ in it at Jaigarh fort in Jaipur. (Source: PTI Photo)

Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS), which is spearheading protests against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, claims to have 7.64 lakh registered members across Rajasthan and identifies “opposing distortion of history” as one of its 11 aims as an outfit committed to the welfare of Rajputs. Formed in 2006, the outfit is named after Karni Mata, a goddess revered across Rajasthan, with her seat being the famous “rat” temple in Deshnoke near Bikaner. In 2008, the SRKS was in the middle of a similar controversy when it protested against Ashutosh Gowariker’s film ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ over “inaccurate portrayal of history”. While there are other Rajput organisations such as Shri Rajput Sabha, founded in 1939, which work for Rajputs, SRKS members identify themselves as the foot-soldiers of the community. Interestingly, all its members are below the age of 40. The members who cross the age of 40 are made members of SRKS’s advisory committee.

WATCH VIDEO | MoS Giriraj Singh Backs Protests Against Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati

The organisation’s founder patron is Lokendra Singh Kalvi, the son of late Kalyan Singh Kalvi, who was a minister in former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar’s Cabinet. At the time of its formation, SRKS decided 11 aims for itself. These included opposing any political or social malice against Rajputs, opposing distortion of history, promoting Rajput unity and social harmony with 36 communities, and supporting any Rajput affiliated with any political party. It further vowed to motivate Rajput women towards education and self-reliance, to motivate the community for social work, and make Rajputs heard on on the issue of reservation.

The outfit is mainly active in Jaipur and surrounding districts, along with certain other areas like Pali and Chittorgarh and Kota. It, however, has a district team in all 33 districts of the state. Apart from a president, it has four vice-presidents, four general secretaries and four joint secretaries. It is the same organisational set-up that is followed for all its district units. Over the years, SRKS’s splinter groups have formed their own Rajput youth wings. The main SRKS faction is led by Mahipal Singh, who organised Friday’s protest against Bhansali’s movie at Jaigarh Fort. Mahipal claims there is only one case against him and that involved the attack on Zee News journalists allegedly by SRKS activists over the network airing television serial Jodha Akbar.

Watch | Sanjay Leela Bhansali Slapped And Assaulted By Protesters On Padmavati Sets In Jaipur

Past protests

2008: SRKS protested against Jodhaa Akbar over “inaccurate portrayal of history”. The film was not released in the state.
2008: As Kshatriyas, called a Jaipur Bandh in 2008 to protest Brahmins being lathicharged.
2012: Called bandh against the arrest of BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore, now Panchayati Raj Minister, by CBI in a fake encounter case.
2013: Threatened to disrupt Congress’s Chintan Shivir and confront Sonia Gandhi over issue of reservation.
2014: Disrupted filmmaker Ekta Kapoor’s session at the Jaipur Literature Fest over her TV serial Jodha Akbar.
2014: Allegedly attacked journalists at Jaipur office of Zee News, to register their protest for airing the serial.

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  1. R
    Jul 13, 2017 at 12:46 am
    Where are those 7 Lakhs Karni Soldiers..Even on their God's Death..Hindu Vahini and Karni Sena collected only 20,000 people..Meeti Key Sher..Waise bhi Garejney Wale Badal Barestey Nahi Hey..All Police from Sipahi, commando till HM are Rajputs. Unemployed Goondas of Registan..like their founders
    1. A
      Jan 30, 2017 at 8:04 am
      I read this news. Does it mean Christains are terrorists?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Controversial new movie adaptation The Da Vinci Code has prompted religious protests in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Hundreds of Catholic stalwarts have today gathered outside a convent school in the city in a bid to stop the film’s release next week, blasting it as an attack on their faith.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Members of the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) have taken offense to the movie’s depiction of Catholic group Opus Dei as corrupt, out-dated and at the center of a cover-up of the truth about Jesus Christ.
      1. A
        Jan 30, 2017 at 7:49 am
        Then why did you Christians protest and rampaged when Da Vinci Code was released? A time that time Christians were peace loving citizens ? Even Jesus was hanged for your deeds.
        1. A
          Jan 30, 2017 at 7:57 am
          I am planning to make a movie on how Mary was having an affair with Greek soldiers. She was r@ped by Greek soldiers and she was a bad character woman. So bad that even Joseph loved to see his wife with others peeping Tom. And then when Jesus was born illegetimately Joseph refused to own the child and so called him son of god as he had no idea who his father is? Can I make a film on this dear Christians and please don't hate me as I am using my secular rights in a democracy.
          1. K
            Jan 30, 2017 at 5:50 am
            The Press has not presented the issue correctly. The Karni Sena asked for an appointment with Sanjay Leela 6 months back. They were not entertained. Last week they went to the sets and requested an interview. The guards of Bhansali were told to fire three shots in the air and shoo them off .which they did. This led to the physical ault. Of course there are no two opinions that the Karni Sena should have taken the legal route. lt;br/gt;But then how does freedom of expression justify distorting facts? Rani Padmini is considered a symbol of chasy and revered in the tradition of Gargi and Savitri . This is a question of distorting the truth. Isn't it cultural genocide? There are many Indians who know history well enough and do not want glorified versions of 800 years of Islamic rule and 300 years of British rule. Invaders have only carried out a cultural genocide here. Even after freedom must we put up with this? lt;br/gt;An entire city of Chottor was destro and it's women committed Jowhar. The same qualities we value in Sits we value in Padmini. It's not right to denigrate a virtue held dear to many. Will it be right if Bhansali went to Germany and made s film glorifying Hitler or went to the US and made s film glorifying anti Christ? Obviously he will run into the same problems. Hindus and Hinduism have always been soft targets in India.
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