(The Quint’s Take: A woman’s 'honour' is not a public commodity, and the crime of rape doesn't lessen her. Practices like jauhar/sati are condemnable. The Quint supports actor Swara Bhasker’s view as expressed in her open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali – questioning the glorification of Jauhar in the film ‘Padmaavat’.
We at The Quint, have received several letters from our readers responding to Swara’s letter and expressing their views about the film. We are sharing these letters here without endorsing or supporting them. These letters are entirely readers’ opinions.)
Dear Swara Bhasker,
I have immense respect for you as an actor. But unfortunately, this particular open-letter has forced me to put forth some ideas regarding this film, Padmaavat(i) and the allegations that you have made against the director and the cast.
The points that you put forward seem baseless if you think of it from the perspective of a viewer. The film is merely a picturisation of 13th century 'Hindustan’, and the director has tried his best to portray that through his film. It would seem extremely unrealistic to portray these women in an emancipated light
While having these women fight against the Khilji dynasty and safeguard themselves would indeed have been an empowering and inspiring sight, it wouldn't have made any sense to the time the movie has been set.
Needless to say, I am sure the director has made use of his creative liberty to add some glam to the film.
No one is trying to romanticise or glorify the idea of Jauhar through this film. That’s like saying that the practices of adultery and polygamy were justified, glorified and romanticised through ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (not to mention Tanu Weds Manu Returns, a film you were a vital part of).
I hope you don't believe that.
A woman, and not just a vagina,
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)