Wading into the controversy surrounding the release of Bollywood film Padmavati, Union Minister Uma Bharti on Saturday said that though artists have the freedom of expression, there cannot distort facts. “Jab aap kisi aetihaasik tathya par film banaate hain toh uske facts ko violate nahin karsakte (You cannot violate facts if you are making a movie on a historical event),” she wrote in an open letter.
The Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation also drew parallels between those who carry out acid attacks and Alauddin Khilji. “Aaj bhi mann chaaha response nahi milne par kuch larke, larkiyon ke chehre par tezaab daal dete hain. Woh sab kisi bhi dharm ya jaati ke ho, woh mujhe Alauddin Khilji ke vansaj lagte hain (Even today, if some men do not get their desired response, they throw acid on the women’s face. No matter which religion or caste they belong to, I consider them as descendants of Alauddin Khilji)
The minister also claimed that Rani Padmavati’s story is a historical fact. In her letter, which Bharti shared on Twitter, she stated that Alauddin Khilji was a barbarian who desired Rani Padmavati and that is why he destroyed Chittor. She also said that Rani Padmavati’s act of jauhar is what “we have read in history.”
“Abhivyakti mein kahin toh ek seema hoti hai. Aap behen ko patni aur patni ko behen abhivyakt nahi kar sakte (There are certain limits to freedom of expression. One cannot portray someone’s wife as their sister or vice versa),” she wrote. Instead of making this a political issue, people should find a way to address the apprehensions being raised on the film and end the matter, she said.
2. मैंने एक खुला पत्र लिखा है, जिसे मैं टुकड़ों में ट्वीट कर रही हूं। आप पूरा पत्र नीचे दिए लिंक पर पढ़ सकते हैं – https://t.co/8lZz0Eu5J3
— Uma Bharti (@umasribharti) November 4, 2017
The Rajput community has been protesting against the release of the film in parts of the country. The claimed that the film suggests an “amorous relationship” between Padmavati, a Rajput queen, and Khilji, which it alleges is a distortion of history.