Myth or reality: Rajasthan historians to debate on Padmini
Amid outrage over the film ‘Padmaavat’, historians from Rajasthan will gather in Chittor in an effort to dispel falsehoods surrounding Padmini, the legendary queen of Chittor who is said to have committed jauhar (self-immolation) in 1303 to escape the clutches of Delhi ruler Alauddin Khiljijaipur Updated: Jan 20, 2018 21:41 IST
Amid outrage over the film ‘Padmaavat’, historians from Rajasthan will gather in Chittor in an effort to dispel falsehoods surrounding Padmini, the legendary queen of Chittor who is said to have committed jauhar (self-immolation) in 1303 to escape the clutches of Delhi ruler Alauddin Khilji.
The seminar titled ‘Padmini Ek Vastavikta’ will be held on January 21-22. It is being organised by the Jauhar Smriti Sansthan, a socio-cultural organisation that aims to preserve and promote the history of Rajputs.
Lokendra Singh Chundawat, organising secretary of the seminar, said around 35 historians from different parts of Rajasthan have been invited to read papers on queen Padmini to establish her existence. The historians are from Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Jhalawar, Bikaner and Jaisalmer.
Chundawat, head of the history department at the government college in Chiottorgarh, said the purpose of organising the seminar is to bring out historical truths about Padmini.
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus ‘Padmaavat’ has drawn the ire of the Rajput community who are carrying out a violent campaign against the film for allegedly distorting facts and character assassination of the queen.
“Over the past one year, questions have been raised by some persons about Padmini’s reality. We are making this effort to clear the air on her existence,” said Chundawat. “There will be two sessions in the seminar in which historians will present papers and bring to light facts about queen Padmini and her husband king Ratan Singh.”
Several national historians have questioned Padmini’s existence, saying she was a fictional character and there is no mention about the queen in contemporary literature. They say her story originated with Malik Muhammed Jayasi’s poem ‘Padmavat’, the fictional account written in 1540.
Historians in Rajasthan differ and contend that the oral and bardic traditions of Mewar make mention of Ratan Singh and Padmini.
Chundawat said the organisation will hold another seminar in February where historians from all over the country will be invited to present papers on Padmini. “Based on the papers and the discussions, we hope to arrive at a conclusion that will settle the matter once for all,” said Chundawat.
He said if Padmini’s existence is established, the organisation will write to the NCERT, SIERT, ASI and other educational bodies to make necessary changes to the syllabus. “Students are being taught incorrect facts about Padmini. These need to be rectified,” claimed Chundawat.
First Published: Jan 20, 2018 21:41 IST