There is something seriously wrong with the Republic Of India if the media treats with contempt a wide section of the population residing in 4 or more states of the country on an issue they can at best look from the hollow Victorian Values, never practiced in real life by them anytime.
It sounds terrible to see India without these big states. They are governed by democratically elected governments. Will these state governments take orders from the TV/Press journalists or listen to public advice? Do these journalists ever care for social, cultural or moral issues impacting public life? Or do they impose their half-baked Victorian values or Anglo-saxion jurisprudence and procedures?
Since media is an industry I take no offence at their verbal and visual atrocities, but I am deeply concerned when members of the highly respected community of genuinely learned citizens like Harish Salve fall to irrational advocacy of issues before a judiciary which for reasons unknown fights for allocation of cases on the basis of “sensitive” or “non-sensitive” in full public view but refuses to see that the agitated people in these states are pleading one of the most sensitive case. I was aghast to read in the newspapers that Shri Salve referred to the Lady Chatterley’s Lover during the hearing and wonder how can any comparison between Padmini and Lady Chatterley be made? Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a work of pure fiction, whereas Padmini was a living person, who is a “legacy” of the family of her descendants and a living icon for them.
The film thrives on selective exposure of the skin of the actress, which offends those who respect Padmini for very valid reasons. Nobody bans artists who draw nude pictures or writers who pen novels on matters taboo in ordinary Indian homes such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover for the Victorian sensibilities. The Khajuraho temples are a living testimony to it. But the film is trying to make a commercial of the beauty of the Queen and the lust of an aggressor without contributing anything by way of social or historical research, poetry, art, creativity or originality.
The film makes it another Victorian era romance of the English writers. It has no idea of the bravery, chivalry and valour of a woman who takes charge of a very volatile situation and rides to challenge the aggressor and rescue her husband, the king and his retinue, held in captivity by the treacherous aggressor by taking undue advantage of the courtesies shown to him as a guest to the King of Mewar.
Even the change of name to Padmavat does not make any amends since the film does not raise the poetic flavour to the high level of Sufi poetry but tries to compensate its absence by providing a surfeit of cleverly exposed parts of the actress. Sufi poetry is not expression of the carnal but the sublime emotion merging into the spiritual.
The Supreme Court failed to assuage the hurt caused to millions of people by an inept handling of a subject of immense social, cultural and moral values by which these people live. They have inherited it much before the Constitution of India came into force, and centuries before the Anglo-saxion jurisprudence was introduced in British India (not in Princely States of India). In effect, these Princely States honoured their inspiring traditions till 1950 and continue to do so even now. They joined the Union of India and became a part of India.
The Constitution has not invalidated any such past traditions of glory, valour and honour. India is also Bharat and therefore, it can’t nullify any of the values unless parliament makes the necessary law.
India, that is Bharat, is a Union of States and no journalist is endowed with the authority to show contempt to any member state by using un-parliamentary language. The tone and tenor of the argumentative journalists and editorial columnists is unlawful as it does not draw any power to do so from the constitution of India or any law made thereunder.
The journalists have no business to attack or offend the dignity of any Indian by repeatedly using words which only enrage more people. These journalists must remain within limits of the law and refrain from pronouncing people guilty on TV cameras or newspapers. That does no justice to the concept of a free, independent and unbiased media. They should leave this exercise to the law enforcement agencies who will decide the guilt of the offenders.
Another important point needs to be highlighted. The film will be released on 25th January (or a day earlier) when Heads of Governments from ASEAN countries will be visiting New Delhi for a conference and be honoured guests on the Republic Day. It is a treacherous way of creating law and order problem just a day before the Republic Day as part of a hidden agenda to defame India and its government.
There would have been no loss to the financiers if the film were to release on 1st February and meanwhile attempts were made to assuage hurt feelings and promote fraternity by providing social justice and dignity to everyone.
The Supreme Court can’t treat such serious and highly sensitive matters as simple law & order issue. It should not rely on the CBFC alone because it is no scholarly body of Social Scientists or Historians, who alone can provide genuine inputs. Besides, there is no written Social History of India. Playing with the glorious history of the country can prove costly after decades or centuries. Any misstep at this stage will create social disharmony and fracture fraternal bonds. A film is not more important than this.
The enemies of the Republic surely will exploit the situation by stoking widespread violence under the pretext of the fringe elements, goondas, intolerance and freedom of expression, though the agents would be employed by them only. It needs to be remembered that the 4 states go to elections this year, which are crucial for the stability of the Narendra Modi government at the centre and the next year’s election to the parliament.
The angry sections of society need to exercise utmost restraint in the face of extreme provocation. The enemies of the Republic are looking for influential sections of the public to blame for the violence. It is not only a particular caste or section of the society but a large number of people across sections who are proud of the brave Indians who have readily laid their lives for the country who feel equally hurt. But the enemy is firing from the shoulders of politicians, journalists, lawyers, judges, academics and knowledge workers. Unless their game is exposed, public anger will end up killing innocents of our own society. That exactly is the aim of the enemy.
The agenda is to capture power by hook or crook in states this year and centre in 2019. Only some people know this devious game of the enemy and its accomplices in Lutyens’ Delhi. People must not allow this game to succeed. For the sake of the Republic, citizens need to keep a strict vigil on the activities of these enemies and frustrate all their nefarious designs.