When Ashutosh Gowariker Refused To Apologise Karni Sena Regarding “Jodhaa Akbar” Controversy

Ashutosh Gowariker clarified that if the use of Jodhaabai's name in the movie has hurt anyone's feeling then it was unintentional but he never apologized anyone for this.

National Award Winning film Lagaan’s director Ashutosh Gowariker turns 60 today on February 15. This intellectual and artistic director has made many period dramas, like “Mohenjo Daro”, “Jodhaa Akbar”, “Panipat” and many. But this Filmfare Award-winning film “Jodhaa Akbar” starring Aishwarya Rai & Hrithik Roshan had to face strong disapproval from the state of Rajasthan. The founder of Karni Sena in Rajasthan, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, objected to this film and director Ashutosh Gowariker denied to apologize to them.

Jodhaa Akbar was released all around the world on January 15, 2008, except Rajasthan. In fact, the film is rooted in Rajasthan. Ashutosh Gowariker was accused of deceiving history by the Karni Sena. According to them, Jodhaabai was the daughter of Motaraja Udai Singh, and she was the daughter-in-law of Akbar, i.e. wife of emperor Jehangir. Whereas Ashutosh has shown the beautiful love story of emperor Akbar and his wife, Maharani Jodhaabai. Clarifying this argument, the director cited all the historical references he studied for 3 years before making this film. “Medieval India” by K. L. Khurana, “Akbar” by Muni Lal, “Madhyakalin Bharat” by Harishankar Sharma, “History of Rajasthan” by Rima Hooja, in these all books, there has been mention of “Jodhaabai”. “Jahangirnama”, “History of Jaipur” by Jadunath Sarkar and “Medieval India” by Satish Chandra are others books on which he constructed his research.  

Talking about the controversy, he said that he respected each and every community in India and his aim was to make films for everyone’s entertainment. “If the use of the Jodhaabai name has hurt anyone’s feelings, then it’s unintentional”, he added. When he was asked about why he didn’t meet any of the members who refused to screen the movie in Rajasthan, he said, “I didn’t apologise. I am presenting books, so it becomes clear to everyone which historians and books I referred to and studied. They haven’t contacted me so I don’t know how to contact whom.” His overall explanation and sources he presented was on the basis of the news he heard from Rajasthan. And there were too many issues regarding release and multiplexes which had to be resolved first and that’s why he didn’t go to Jaipur to meet in person anyone concerned with the topic.

He wanted to clarify this and couldn’t find time, so he chose the media to reach towards them. He said, “Since the media is so strong and has always been extremely strong in connecting one news to another and to spread messages from one place to another, I thought this would be a good way to send this message across to them. All across India, everyone should know that I have not made this film carelessly. I have made a film after research. It’s not a figment of my imagination. Only the romance between two which happened after marriage that has been imagined, rest of everything is from the facts of history.” Even after the criticism film received from Rajasthan and Rajput community, it garnered many awards.

Also Read: ​When Randhir Kapoor Talked About Ranbir Kapoor’s Bollywood Debut