Congratulations Karni Sena, This One Is On You

Politics

Congratulations Karni Sena, This One Is On You

I

t’s been a confusing few days for the Karni Sena.

Imagine starting the week by threatening to burn down everyone who worked on the movie Padmavati, and ending the week condemning violence against a suspected victim of Padmavati-related violence.

A man’s body was found near Nahargarh fort in Jaipur yesterday, a few feet away from a chilling message carved into a rock: “Hum sirf putley nahi jalatey, latkatey hain. Padmavati ke virodh.” (We don’t just burn effigies, we hang people in protest of Padmavati.) The Karni Sena, which has replaced Gabbar Singh as the go-to option for parents to put their kids to sleep, was quick to speak out against the violence. Just a friendly reminder; this is the same Karni Sena that threatened to cut off Deepika Padukone’s nose a week ago, the same organisation that said it would behead Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and the same fringe group that wanted to burn theatres across the nation. Hell, they even went as far as to threaten to burn down theatres in the sovereign nation of the United Kingdom. If irony were a person, it would be laughing its head off.

For the Karni Sena to say they were not involved in this violence is a bit rich. They might not have killed Chetan Saini, or caused his suicide, or displayed his body in such a hideous fashion at Nahargarh Fort — in fact, the death might be completely unrelated to Padmavati. But they are responsible for the “cause” his death has been yoked to. The Karni Sena is the only reason anyone is discussing the movie, and their violent threats have made it possible for anyone to hijack and exploit their gruesome agenda. Well done, douchebags. Your condemnation of the violence almost sounds like something one would hear in the Bizarro universe.

Isn’t it time for chief minister Vasundhara Raje put an end to this nonsense? She, instead, has chosen to side with the Karni Sena, reacting to reports of vandalism and aggressive protests for the last month with appeals to not hurt the sentiments of any communities.

So anyway, here we are in a really tight place where a man has died over a movie no one has yet watched. Isn’t it time for chief minister Vasundhara Raje put an end to this nonsense? She, instead, has chosen to side with the Karni Sena, reacting to reports of vandalism and aggressive protests for the last month with appeals to not hurt the sentiments of any communities (…even if these communities are capable of large-scale violence). Not taking suo moto cognisance of the threat they pose to public life, property, and order, or warning them against taking the law in their own hands. Has Rajasthan already forgotten the situation in Haryana a few months ago, when Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced, and large groups of people were allowed to gather?

Instead of handling the law and order situation in the state, which is the bare minimum of her responsibilities as an elected representative, the Rajasthan chief minister was happy to defer the release of the movie. UP’s Yogi Adityanath followed suit, and Punjab’s chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh recently spoke out against the movie for distorting historical facts, forgetting that the movie comes from the same industry that made Kyaa Kool Hain Hum.

Whether the Karni Sena had any hand in this suicide/murder, is unclear for now, and we’ll know that in the coming few days. What is clear, however, is that they, along with the Rajasthan Government, have won this round. Take a bow, folks. May the spirit of a mythological heroine guide you along.

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