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Panipat trailer OUT: Will Karni Sena TEAR this film apart?

The Rajput organization 'Karani Sena' has been notoriously known for not only opposing period drama film over minor issues but are also known for their several violent activities towards films like Padmaavat, Jodhaa Akbar and to some extent Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. And as the trailer of Panipat just dropped, we cannot help but wonder what their reaction would be.

We witnessed how the Shri Rajput Karni Sena had gone out of hand after they began issuing death threats to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, over his film Padmaavat. Not only that but they had also branded Deepika Padukone as a “naachnewali” and further threatened her to chop off her nose. All this because they believed that the honour of Rani Padmini was being demeaned in the film by incorporating a romantic dream sequence between her and Alauddin Khilji. But no such scene was ever a part of the film’s script. And now that trailer of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Panipat dropped, we cannot help but wonder how Karani Sena will tear this film apart, as the filmmaker was also on the receiving with his film Jodhaa Akbar in 2008.

Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Panipat stars Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and  Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. Arjun will be seen essaying the role of Maratha warrior, Sadashiv Rao Bhau, Kriti will be seen portraying the role of Parvati Bai, his wife, and Sanjay Dutt will play the role of Ahmad Shah Abdali – the main antagonist in this film, which is based on the Third Battle of Panipat.

Shri Rajput Karni Sena, which is a faction of the Rajput caste prevalent in India and who aims at demanding caste-based reservation for the Rajputs in government jobs and education sectors and also help elect Rajput legislators in the government. They are also known for taking aggressive action against those “ignoring Rajput figures in textbooks.”

Karni Sena in 2008, protested against Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar as they claimed the film distorted Rajput history. They not only requested a ban on the film but also wrote letters in blood against the film’s release and sent it to theatre owners. They also issued a diktat to Rajput organizations in other states and asked them to not screen the film.

At the start of this year Karni Sena again came out to oppose Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, as they believed that the film showed a relationship between Laxmibai and a British officer while they also had issues about the queen dancing to a special number in the film, which happens to be against their tradition.

Karani Sena on just bases of their assumption and presumption of a film sought to violent ways and threats and leave no room for a civilized conversation. But Cinema, after all, is an inseparable part of the right to free speech and expression, so why guillotine it? Is Karani Sena qualified enough to pass judgment, whether positive or negative, on the impact of a film on the society? 

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