Padmini’s mirror mirage


Jaipur, Mar 6 : Rajput Karni Sena youths on Sunday broke three mirrors in Chittorgarh Fort, which were supposed to have been used to show the image of Rani Padmini to Delhi Sultan Allauddin Khilji.

Keeping the controversy, which erupted during Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati shooting in Jaipur in January end, alive, the Sena youths damaged the mirrors present in the round room of the fort, known as Padmani Mahal.

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They said tourists are told the story of how Rani Padmani’s image was shown to Khilji through these mirrors as he was too enamoured of her beauty and wanted to get a glimpse of her. The mirrors are shown to tourists as part of the narrative that the queen’s face was revealed to Alauddin Khilji in a mirror as part of a compromise with her husband Rana Ratan Singh.
According to Sena, this story is a myth and these mirrors were installed later to misguide tourists and earn some extra bucks, as such stories intrigue people. Sena claim Rani Padmini’s story dates back to the 13th century when no mirrors did not exist then.

So Sena had issued an ultimatum to the administration to remove these mirrors within 15 days, by handing over a memorandum a fortnight back. Sena owning responsibility over mirror breakage, said since the administration did not heed their warning, they had to resort to such a method. Four to five youths had entered the circular mirror room in the fort around 5 in the evening yesterday and resorted to vandalism in front of the tourists and left without being stopped.

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The police, administration and Archaeological Survey of India seemed to be unaware of the incident. Till late they did not know who was responsible for the incident. No arrests have been made till now, although a case has been filed against unknown people. The fort guards came to know of the incidents when tourists informed them.

Sena has been at the forefront of the protests against Bhansali’s movie, which they say are depicting their revered rani in wrong light and which they would never allow to be made. They protested against Bhansali’s alleged romantic scene shot between Padmini and Khilji, which the filmmaker has denied. Many others however say Padmini is a fictional character, written in allegorical poem by Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi

Two days back, an Upper Caste rally, led by Rajput Karni Sena had taken out a huge rally in Jaipur demanding reservation and had pelted stones at the BJP office. It is learnt that they could be pacified after two senior ministers met them and promised them that no shooting of Padmavati would be allowed in the state till they showed the film to the Sena and other concerned persons.

The Upper castes have upped their ante for reservation as Rajasthan heads towards the Assembly polls next year in December.

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