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‘Padmaavat’ Release And The Theatre Of The Absurd

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It took years of struggle and many sacrifices to abolish the evil practice of Sati in 1829. But try telling that to the Rajput women who have vowed to commit mass suicide. No, this is not one of those fake news pieces written to create hysteria. It’s happening in modern India.

Calling it a ‘Chetavani rally’, over 500 Rajput women marched from Chittorgarh fort to a temple in Jauhar Smriti Sansthan premises on Sunday to protest the release of Padmaavat, reported The Times of India. The women of Shatrani Manch had initially planned to carry out self-immolation on January 24, however, now they plan on filing a petition at the Supreme Court to commit mass suicide while exercising their freedom of expression, the report added.

If any of these women were familiar with Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s work, they would realise that their beloved queen had defied all odds and conventions to rescue Raja Ratan Singh from the clutches of evil Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khalji. She was no damsel in distress. But when sentiments run so high, there is no space for reason.

Meanwhile, just three days ahead of the film’s release, the state governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have petitioned the apex top court to review its earlier order and ban the film for the sake of law and order. The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

The apex court, in its earlier order, had stated that it is the duty of the states to maintain law and order and that creative content is an inseparable aspect of article 19 (1), freedom of speech and expression.

While the Karni Senas vow to move heaven and earth to stop the film from releasing, a youth from Bhilwara took some inspiration from Sholay and climbed a mobile tower with a bottle of petrol, vowing to come down only when Padmaavat is banned

The actors, meanwhile, maintain stoic silence and continue to promote the film:

For those in the mood for some satire, listen to Varun Grover’s thoughts on Padmaavat:

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