Protests erupt against Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Panipat' in Rajasthan: Here's why
Ashutosh Gowariker's much-anticipated period drama Panipat, that released this Friday, has landed itself into yet another major controversy. Protests have erupted in parts of Rajasthan against the film's content. Reportedly, the Jat community of Bharatpur is protesting against the movie, alleging distortion of history and wrongful portrayal of their ancestor. They have resorted to burning the effigies of Gowariker. Here are more details.
Notably, the protests are in connection with the alleged wrongful portrayal of Maharaja Surajmal of Bharatpur. In the movie, Marathi warrior Sadashiv Rao Bhau (played by Arjun Kapoor) asks the Maharaja for help against the invading Afghans. However, the latter refuses to join hands when his demands aren't met. Now, the protesting Jats are saying that this is a false depiction of Maharaja Surajmal.
Jat leader Nem Singh said, "We appeal to film director Ashutosh Gowariker and central government to edit the role of Maharaja Surajmal." They warned that the outrage would intensify if the controversial part is not removed. Further, several locals said that the characters in the movie speak Marwari and Haryanvi, whereas they actually speak pure Braj language.
Earlier, soon after the trailer of the film was released, a dialog mouthed by Sadashiv Bhau's wife Parvati Bai (Kriti Sanon) had created stir. The dialog was "Maine suna hai Peshwa jab akele muhim par jaate hain to ek Mastani ke saath laut te hain." Subsequently, Nawabzada Shadab Ali Bahadur, the eighth generation descendant of Peshwa Bajirao, served a legal notice to the makers.
Separately, ahead of the film's release, Marathi Novelist Vishwas Patil had filed a lawsuit against the makers of Panipat, accusing them of stealing the plot from his 1988 historical fiction novel. However, the Bombay High Court dismissed his plea, thereby allowing the movie to release.
Meanwhile, Panipat marks Gowariker's return to Bollywood after three years. His previous silver screen outing was Mohenjo Daro (2016). Panipat, also starring Sanjay Dutt, is based on the epic Third Battle of Panipat, that was fought between the Maratha empire and Afghan King Ahmad Shah Abdali. The movie has received mixed reviews from critics, and opened to a slow start at the box office.