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Padmavati row: Two years ago, Jaipur royals had supported Deepika Padukone’s Bajirao Mastani

In October 2015, Deepika who had essayed the role of a warrior princess in Bajirao Mastani met Diya Kumari and her family at the City Palace.

Padmavati Row Updated: Nov 21, 2017 17:58 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Padmavati row,Diya Kumari,Deepika Padukone
Sawai Madopur MLA and member of erstwhile royal family of Jaipur, Diya Kumari, at a signature campaign opposing the release of Padmavati.

Two years ago, actor Deepika Padukone was the toast of the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur when she visited the pink city for promotion of another Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Bajirao Mastani, which was also hit by controversy with the descendant of Bajirao Peshwa I alleging that historical facts have been “altered.”

However, unlike their opposition to film Padmavati, the erstwhile royal family not only supported Bajirao Mastani but also allowed screening of a song Deewani Mastani on the walls of the City Palace.

In October 2015, Deepika who had essayed the role of a warrior princess in Bajirao Mastani met Diya Kumari and her family at the City Palace. Deepika rode a royal buggy, flagged off a polo match at the Rajasthan Polo Club and had dinner with the royal family.

“I would like to say that you could easily be from a royal family. The way you carry yourself with a lot of poise, the way you speak. I think the director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) made the right choice in choosing the cast (for Bajirao Mastani),” Rajmata Padmani Devi is heard saying in a promotional video shot by Eros. Rajmata Padmini Devi is wife of Jaipur’s last maharaja, late Brigadier Bhawani Singh.

Erstwhile princess Diya Kumari is also heard praising her and discussing the portrayal of royal families by Bollywood. Deepika asks her about the most common misconception to which Diya Kumari replies that “many times what is not portrayed correctly that they (royalty) are just fond of the good life and are very disconnected with today’s world, that is very wrong notion people have that royalty is still living in the past.”

Later in the evening, the erstwhile royal family and their guests watched the song Deewani Mastani for the first time on the palace walls, adjacent to the palace lawns. Usually, Rajasthani folk stories are screened and projected on the walls of city palace, and it was the first time Bollywood content was showcased.

Diya Kumari, a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from the BJP party, said recently that they will not allow Padmavati to release “as long as we are not fully satisfied with the film and objectionable scenes are not removed.”

She also said that Ghoomar dance that was being shown in the film’s promos was not portrayed properly so there was doubt about what the rest of the movie would be like. “The way she (Deepika) has performed, maharanis don’t dance like that and are dressed like that. Rani Padmani is revered not only by Rajputs but everybody in Rajasthan and Bhansali has not researched the script of the movie properly,” she said while talking to a TV channel.

Diya Kumari could not be contacted for this story as calls made on her cell phone went unanswered.

Rajasthan government on Monday said it not allow release of the film Padmavati unless suggestions sent by chief minister Vasundhara Raje to information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani are incorporated.

On November 18, Raje had written to Irani suggesting that a committee comprising historians, experts and members of Rajput community be formed to identify any historical distortions in the movie to ensure that sentiments of any community are not hurt.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 15:48 IST