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Ratan Sharda
Glorifying Khilji's lust & legitimising Aryan Invasion Theory - Whither cinema? 22 August, 2016
Recently, there was news item about Mr Sanjay Leela Bhansali launching a film about 'Love Story' of Alauddin Khilji and Queen Padmavati. The newspaper that ran the story apologised next day for using the words 'lover of Khilji' for 'Padmavati'. But, none from Bhansali team has refuted the story.
Now, news clips are trickling in about Ranveer Singh playing the role Khilji 'madly in love with Padmavati'. People with some collective memory of history, oral history of the region, as well as Muslim records tell us that it was lust not love that led Khilji all the way to Chittor. Since, Khilji couldn't defeat Rana, he offered truce if he could see face of Padmini (or Padmavati). Under siege, Rana agreed.

Finally, it led to fierce fight ending with 'jauhar' of all Rajput women jumping into fire to avoid dishonour at the hands of Muslim marauders.

To call lust as love or in modern terminology - a stalker - as lover is travesty. Trivializing jauhar of Rajput queens and women is worst insult we can heap on these sacrifices. I do hope that this urge to make money and glamourize worst stalker in human history will not lead to sacrilege of glorious sacrifice of Rajputs and their women. If his Bajirao Peshwa is anything to go by, I do feel he will not show this as a love story. We will be relieved if he shows this as a disastrous story of lust truly, as it was.

Even as we wring our hands over this possible distortion of history, we now hear of even more ominous possibility of legitimizing the fictional Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) by respectable production house of Mr. Goldie Behl as a TV serial for Star TV. It is possibly titled - 'Aarambh'.

We know our filmmakers are quite lazy about research. Our movies about history and ancient Indian culture are witness to this. From the story line of Aarambh that we have heard about, producers have followed Western myth of AIT. There seems to have been no attempt to study alternative view point that disproves this theory. This is not an article on history, so I will be brief.

It has taken decades of hard work of historians and archaeologists to prove AIT wrong. World over historians and archaeologists have slowly begun to at least accept an alternative narrative of history as possibly true history. This theory is powerful enough for 'eminent' historian Romilla Thapar and her ilk to reposition their theories as 'Aryan Migration' theory. Talk of aggressive Aryans throwing Dravidians from Harappan civilization to South after defeating them in war has been buried in the back of shelves.

Scientific geological and historical evidence shows that River Saraswati did exist and that it dried up due to various known and unknown environmental disasters, leading the citizens of this ancient civilizations to move inland into Gangetic plains. This fiction of Aryan-Dravidian clash was to divide Indian society in which British succeeded.

To this day, we have Dravidian politics revolving around this fiction. There is clear genome based evidence from recent study by reputed Harvard University team that shows genes of Dravidians and Aryans are no different. There is also now a new theory that talks of possibility of pre-historic ancient Africans migrating into Indian nation thousands of year back and from there on migrating to North-West and Europe etc.

Only recently Mr. Ashutosh Gowarikar fictionalized Mohenjo Daro civilization. He did take lot of creative liberties. But, he stuck closer to the now accepted theory of well settled Harappan civilization and migration of citizens of Harappan civilization due to natural disaster. Though, he changed the natural disaster into man-made disaster. He did not talk of or legitimize AIT.

Mr. Bhansali himself fictionalized the love story of Bajirao Peshwa in a grand manner while sticking closer to his life as the undefeated commander of a successful Hindu army. Infact, I don't remember any significant Hindi movie that portrayed a victorious Hindu king gloriously.

To bring out a serial allegedly based on discredited AIT, flying into the face of new scientific evidences may inflame passions and re-ignite British created Aryan-Dravidian divide at this sensitive juncture in Indian history. This theory was floated to legitimise the invasions by Moghuls and British, to show that India was but a 'stop over' or 'settling place' for outsiders; and that except 'indigenous' tribals all were outsiders.

To conclude, I would humbly submit that the above two - movie and serial - will be huge disappointments if what we hear is true. Our youth have not studied history at all or have been fed with Marxist interpretation of history that is neutered and castrated to suit their world view. For them what they see on screen is history. These two narratives will be a serious disservice to the true facets of history resurfacing slowly but surely now.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Ratan Sharda is a citizen journalist. He has authored books like 'Secrets of RSS'. A marketing consultant by profession, Mr. Sharda is a keen observer of the country's political scenario.
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