Depicting characters such as ‘Padmavati’ “out of context” is unacceptable, Union minister Giriraj Singh said today amid a row over the movie whose release was deferred after a slew of protests and threats. Singh, the Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said the way Padmavati’s character has been depicted in the film does not seem to match her valour and sacrifice and this was not acceptable. “Mahatma Gandhi, Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Rani Laxmi Bai and Padmavati are our ideals. Their real stories, their sacrifice in films are acceptable but depicting these characters out of context is not acceptable,” said Singh, who arrived here on his way to Pali.
Amid rumours that there was a romantic dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji’s characters, many Rajput groups and others have been protesting against the movie, alleging that it distorts history. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in a video appeal earlier this month, had stated that there was no such sequence in the movie and he was careful in depicting the “Rajput honour and dignity”. Historians are divided on whether Rani Padmavati even existed but irate Rajput groups have called the film an insult to their honour.
Singh asked if it was possible to make a film on any other religion or community other than the Hindu religion and show these religions out of context. “Since Hindu religion is liberal, somebody makes a film on it and sometimes on the Hindu Gods. This is not acceptable,” he said. On the Ram temple issue, Singh said that both Hindus and Muslims will construct it together as Muslims are not descendants of Babar. “Muslims are not different. They and Hindus have the same forefathers, Lord Rama. I wish one brick is laid by a Hindu and one brick by a Muslim,” said Singh. If the temple would not be made in India, would it be made in Pakistan, he asked.
Singh said that Shia Muslims have already set an ideal by advocating a temple in Ayodhya and soon the Sunni Muslims would also come forward. “I do not see any problem or any difficulty in it that we both would make the temple together,” he said.