Deorala was among members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena who attacked filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his crew on the sets of Padmavati. He stopped studying after Class 12 to join the outfit.
1. Since when have you been with the Karni Sena? Do you support the attack on Bhansali?
Yes, did you see the photographs? There is a man throwing a wooden box – that’s me. I started working for Rajput organisations after Class 12. I didn’t study any further. I have been an active member of the Karni Sena since 2003. My elder brother and sister-in-law work for the SRKS too.
2. The SRKS says it attacked the sets of Padmavati to defend Rajput honour. What, according to you, is ‘Rajput honour’?
When it comes to our history, particularly that of Mewar, Maharana Pratap and Rani Padmini are the two tallest figures. The film’s lead actor, Ranveer Singh, also recently said in an interview that he did not want the film to show a love affair between Padmini and (Alauddin) Khilji — whether as a dream sequence or otherwise. Besides, this is not just about Rajput honour, but the honour of all Hindus. What the film is doing is character assassination. And they call it a love story? Whether real or imaginary, just the idea of depicting a love affair between Padmini and Khilji is shameful.
3. But Padmavati is a work of fiction by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi.
It’s not a Sufi tale, it is history. I have not read it myself, but aren’t there teachers and professors who have? They all agree it is part of our history. These filmmakers can do anything. Tomorrow, they will show Maharana Pratap as a chowkidar. Are we supposed to sit back and watch?
4. What is the SRKS planning to do next?
We have asked the director to show the film, once it is completed, to all Rajput organisations. We will allow it to be released only if our demands are met. We have told him to remove those objectionable scenes and all references that suggest a love story between Padmini and Khilji, and even change the name of the film. If he does not do that, we won’t allow him to shoot. They can’t run away from us.
5. What does a Rajput Karni Sena member do on any given day?
We are committed to preserving the community’s honour. We do activities related to community improvement. We watch out for any incident that threatens to hurt our honour and we move in when that happens. For the last few years, we have been making good use of social media – we have an active Facebook page and a WhatsApp group, where we instantly get to know of events such as this one.