What Padmaavat Gets Wrong About Alauddin Khilji

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What Padmaavat Gets Wrong About Alauddin Khilji

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré


t’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re born into a Rajput family, you will grow up immersed in history. We’re a proud people, so in my Amar Chitra Katha comics and evening storytelling sessions, I’ve heard tales of Rajput valour and honour, from Rana Pratap to Rana Sanga. I’ve been intoxicated by the heady brew of romancing the past, and it has led to a lifelong fascination with history. A fascination that suddenly, the whole country seems to share.

With Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period film Padmaavat, the story of Rani Padmini and her resistance against the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji, everyone in the country seems to be obsessed with historical authenticity. Rajput groups, led by Rajput Karni Sena, saw room for our cultural heritage to be misrepresented, and came forth to protest the film’s release in typical Indian fashion – violence and vandalism. What would Prithviraj Chauhan have to say about his descendants turning to Shiv Sena shenanigans (Senanigans)?