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‘No attempt should be made to distort history’: Lalu backs Padmavati protests

Lalu Prasad said the protests against the film Padmavati were “correct” as the legendary queen’s life was glorious and dignified.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2017 22:13 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
Padmavati,Lalu Prasad,Padmavati protests
Activists of Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena (Jharkhand wing) hold placards demanding the ban on screening of upcoming Bollywood movie 'Padmavati', in Ranchi on Saturday.(PTI Photo)

RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Saturday waded into the raging controversy over the yet-to-be-released Bollywood film, Padmavati, and justified the protests against alleged distortion of history related to the former queen of Mewar.

“No attempt should be made to distort history,” the RJD chief told reporters amid threats and violent protests by Rajput groups who say the film’s portrayal of queen Padmini was demeaning for the warrior community.

Lalu’s comments appeared to be an attempt to pacify Bihar’s Rajput community which had traditionally aligned with the RJD politically.

Lalu said the protests against the film were “correct” as the legendary queen’s life was glorious and dignified.

The RJD is in the opposition after chief minister Nitish Kumar earlier this year broke off his JD-U’s pre-poll alliance with the RJD and Congress.

Lalu’s political rival BJP has backed the opposition to the film with several party leaders threatening the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for hurting Rajput pride and honour.

Lalu’s stand, however, appeared to contradict his son and leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who had Bhansali in February when the director was heckled by Karni Sena activists during shooting of the film in Rajasthan.

Tejashwi, in a tweet, had invited Bhansali to Bihar for shooting the film. He had also criticised the BJP-led government in Rajashthan for not giving protection to the film crew.

Then industries minister in the NDA cabinet, Jai Kumar Singh, a Rajput, had expressed reservations on the invitation to Bhansali, saying that his community would not allow the film to be made and would continue protests.

The Rajputs are a major support base of the RJD with the party’s seniormost leaders from the community, such as national vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and former MP Jagdananand Singh. Several RJD?MLAs are also from the Rajput community.

“What Laluji has said is right. History cannot be tampered with by any movie maker for commercial purposes. Let the film be shown to people of different sections to ensure that history has not been altered before it is passed by the censor board,” said Jagdanand Singh.

He said the film had kicked off a row because there are apprehensions that the facts about the Chittorgarh queen had not been presented as per historical facts.


Lalu said the protests against the film were “correct” as the legendary queen’s life was glorious and dignified.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 20:36 IST