Panipat: Jats protest against film over portrayal of Bharatpur king Maharaja Surajmal, burn Ashutosh Gowariker’s effigy
Bharatpur: People from the Jat community on Saturday staged a protest against the recently released Panipat, burning an effigy of director Ashutosh Gowariker and demanding a ban on the film. Alleging that facts have been distorted in the film, Jats threatened to intensify their protests if the film was not edited.
The movie, based on the third battle of Panipat, was directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. Panipat movie shows the details about the third the battle of Panipat, around 100 kilometre from Delhi, which was fought between the Maratha empire and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761.
Actors Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon star in Panipat. Arjun Kapoor plays the role of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, commander of the Maratha army in the battle. The movie allegedly shows Bharatpur king Maharaja Surajmal as a greedy emperor, who wanted to conquer the Red Fort of Agra and denied help to Maratha army in the Panipat battle.
Watch | Panipat: Jat community protest against film, CM Gehlot says, ‘dept will examine’
Historian Mahendra Singh Sikarwar, who has written a book on Bharatpur history, said the Red Fort of Agra was already under Maharaja Surajmal kingdom before the Panipat battle. “Maharaja Surajmal spoke only Braj language but the film shows him speaking a different language,” he said.
Sikarwar said the film shows that Sadashiv Rao Bhau had gone to fight war with Ahmad Shah Abdali in Panipat, but before the battle he had met Maharaja Surajmal to take his help to defeat the Afghan king. He said Maharaja Surajmal refused to help Sadashiv when the latter refused to accept his three conditions.
“Sadashiv Rao Bhau had come to fight the battle along with women carrying jewellery. Maharaja Surajmal put three conditions before Sadashiv -- women would not be allowed to participate in the battle, the war would be fought on Surajmal’s strategy and guerrilla warfare techniques would be implemented,” said Sikarwar, lessons from whose book have been included in the Rajasthan board syllabus. “After Sadashiv Rao refused to accept these conditions, Surajmal did not help him.”
When Sadashiv Rao was killed in the battle, all injured women and soldiers were given shelter by Surajmal in Bharatpur, where they were provided treatment and food for around three months, Sikarwar said. “All women and soldiers of Sadashiv were sent to their kingdom under the protection of the Bharatpur army. There are still around 50 villages in Maharashtra where people of Jat community live,” he said.
Jat leader Nem Singh said the movie will not be allowed to run with distorted facts about Maharaja Surajmal. “We appeal to film director Ashutosh Gowariker and central government to edit the role of Maharaja Surajmal,” he said.
“Jat community in northern India will be forced to stage agitations against movie. The youths of community are angry at the distorted facts of movie. We are planning to approach Jat leaders in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other states to launch a protest,” Nem Singh said.
“The distorted facts in the movie and insult to Maharaja Surajmal will not be tolerated. Government needs to be ready to face protest if movie is not edited or banned.”
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