Rajput Karni Sena: From Rabid Movie Critics to Terrorisers of Children

Social Commentary

Rajput Karni Sena: From Rabid Movie Critics to Terrorisers of Children

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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hat does it mean to be a Rajput? For centuries, the term Rajput has comes bundled with much more than membership to a warrior caste: It is coded with the qualities of bravery, chivalry, and nobility. To be a member of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, however, connotes a different set of attributes. One must be brutish, thuggish, and unhealthily obsessed with Bollywood, especially Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films, whether they’re called Padmaavat or Padmavati.

The state of Rajasthan was formed by amalgamating the 22 princely kingdoms of Rajputana (with histories dating back to medieval times) into the Indian union at the time of Independence. But it was only in 2006 that it became evident to the founders of the Karni Sena that a caste organisation was needed to protect Rajput interests. The jury is still out on how individuals from the famously fierce, independent community feel about having misinformed malcontents claiming to speak up for them.

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