India TV chairman and editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma today revealed that there was "not a single scene, dialogue or sequence in the film Padmavati that could hurt Rajasthani or Rajput pride". He watched the complete film to arrive at the conclusion.
In his prime time show Aaj Ki Baat, telecast tonight at 9 pm, Rajat Sharma said: " After watching the entire film, I can emphatically say that there is not a single dialogue, not a single scene, not a single sequence that can be said to go against the proud history of the Rajputs of Rajasthan".
"Sanjay Leela Bhansali has directed the film after conducting full research. While filming the scenes and sequences, he has kept in mind the need to respect the Rajput traditions and etiquettes. There has been no distortion of history in the entire film. I sincerely feel that the valour of Maharaja Rawal Ratan Singh, the strategic mind of Queen Padmavati, their bravery and sacrifice have been correctly portrayed in Bhansali's film", Sharma said.
"For the last several months, the Rajput community has been agitated merely on the basis of hearsay that Bhansali has denigrated the Rajput community in his film. It was alleged that he had portrayed Ratan Singh as a weak person, who bowed before Alauddin Khilji, that the film portrays Khilji as a hero, but after watching the entire film, one can only marvel in the manner Bhansali has portrayed Khilji as a scheming villain throughout the film, and Maharaja Rawal Ratan Singh as a brave king", Sharma said.
"When the Rajput leader Lokendra Singh Kalvi, who is a descendant of Rawal Ratan Singh and Rani Padmavati, alleged that his community has been denigrated in the film, I was initially sceptical. I also felt angry. But after seeing the entire film, I can say that anybody who watches this film will feel proud on witnessing the valour and sacrifice of both Ratan Singh and Padmavati. Bhansali has not distorted history at all. The story of Ratan Singh and Rani Padmavati has been shown exactly as we heard and read this story in our childhood", Sharma said.
"Questions have been raised about Rani Padmavati doing the dance sequence in the film. I hail from Rajasthan, and I am well aware of Rajput tradition and culture. I know that Rajput queens do not dance in public, but everybody would agree with me that queens and princesses do dance in the female quarters "Ranivas" of the palace with their friends and acquaintances. No male is allowed to watch this dance, except the king. In the film Padmavati, this was how it was exactly shown. While watching the promo, one may have a feel that the queen is dancing in public, but it is not so. The queen has been shown dancing inside the Ranivas", Sharma said.
"I understand the feelings of people who have been hurt by this film, but their anger is merely based on hearsay. I will humply appeal to all my Rajput brothers and sisters to watch this film at least once and then decide. They will certainly feel that this film has correctly portrayed the Rajputs in a positive light. Every child in this great country will feel proud on watching the sacrifice of Rani Padmavati and Rawal Ratan Singh.
"I can also say that after watching this film, people will definitely feel that they have been unfair to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapur and all those who have been associated with this film."
Concluding the show, Rajat Sharma appealed to the Rajput community to select five respected members among them, like Maharaja Gaj Singh, or Maharaja Arvind Singh of Mewar, or any other leader, and he would request director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to screen the film in their presence. He said that he is certain that these respected leaders would be happy on seeing the film that portrays Rajputs in a positive light, and like every Indian, they will feel proud about the legendary valour of Rajputana.