KARNI SENA, a Kshatriya-Rajput community group which is particularly active in Gujarat and Rajasthan and which had led violent protests against Padmavaat movie last year, appointed cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Reevaba Jadeja as head of its women’s wing in Gujarat state on Friday.
Local leaders of Karni Sena in Rajkot said that Mahipalsinh Makrana, national president of the group had appointed Rivaba as the head of women’s wing of the organisation in Gujarat. Addressing a press conference in Rajkot, Rivaba thanked JP Jadeja, Karni Sena in-charge for Saurashtra region and Ritaba Jadeja, chief of Jamnagar city unit of the group for proposing her name for the post.
She said that she will fight for rights of women. “My first goal would be to empower women to the level that they can fend for themselves, take care of themselves and defend themselves when men are not around and fight off any threats from perverted minds. This is my prime goal as I have personally been through such an experience,” Jadeja said, apparently referring to the incident wherein she was allegedly slapped by a police constable after her car hit his bike in Jamnagar in May this year.
Rivaba also said that she would work to strengthen Karni Sena and extend its reach up to taluka level. “Karni Sena takes up causes of people from not only our community alone but of all those who are exploited. It is a matter of pride to be part of such an organisation,” she said.
She said she had discussed the matter with her cricketer husband before accepting the offer of Karni Sena to be chief of its women’s wing in Gujarat. “I had told him that it was for our community. I told him that if I can set an example, it would be for the good of our community only. And his response was that if I wanted and believed that I could do something for the community, I should go ahead. I have his full support,” she said.
To a question if she would join electoral politics, she evaded a direct answer. “I can’t say anything with certainty at this stage. I wold like to make contribution in the capacity for which my community has selected me. You may call this a beginning. I have lots of good plans for our community and our country in coming days. Presently, my focus is social service,” she said.
Rivaba is a mechanical engineer by training. She and Ravindra Jadeja had tied the knot in 2016. The couple has a daughter.
Incidentally, Karni Sena had held violent protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie Padmavati last year and early this year claiming the move showed Padmavati, who, they claimed, was a queen in Rajasthan, in poor light. The group had allowed release of the Bollywood movie only after its title was changed to Padmavaat and other changes were also reportedly made.