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To support or not: Padmavati divides Rajasthan's royals

Some members of the Bundi royal family have broken ranks with the rest and questioned how the movie could be objected to when no one had even seen it

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 21, 2017, 01.01 PM IST
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Maharana Arvind Singh of Mewar, a descendant of Chittor ruler Rawal Ratan Singh, had attracted criticism from Rajput organisations for condemning the attack by the Karni Sena on the movie’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in January.
Maharana Arvind Singh of Mewar, a descendant of Chittor ruler Rawal Ratan Singh, had attracted criticism from Rajput organisations for condemning the attack by the Karni Sena on the movie’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in January.
JAIPUR: The Royal families of Rajasthan have played a key role in drumming up the protest against the movie Padmavati, demanding even they be shown it first before the Censor Board, but some minor cracks seem to have developed in their ranks.

Some members of the Bundi royal family have broken ranks with the rest and questioned how the movie could be objected to when no one had even seen it, and termed the agitation against the film as an effort by a few to gain political mileage.

“Such vandalism and threats of physical harm is not Rajput culture. First see the movie — as some have — and then decide,” said Balbhadra Singh, a nephew of erstwhile Bundi king Bahadur Singh, on Monday. His son, Vanshwardhan Singh, backed the view.

But this has caused a rift in the family. Jitendra Singh, a Congressman and former union minister who is also a member of the royal family, dismissed Balbhadra Singh’s statement as his personal views. “The Bundi royal family is with people of Rajasthan in objecting to this movie,” he said.

On Tuesday, Balbhadra Singh withdrew his earlier comments and said he would aplogise if his comments had hurt the community. "I stand along with the entire community," Singh said in a statement.

Maharana Arvind Singh of Mewar, a descendent of Chittor ruler Rawal Ratan Singh, had also attracted criticism from Rajput organisations for condemning the attack by the Karni Sena on the movie’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in January — Singh had termed it as “unethical behaviour”.

Singh has now issued a YouTube message, stating that he was very much against the movie. “I have been accused of some of being in league with Bhansali. I wish to say I was against the bad behaviour shown to him but I am against his movie,” Singh said. He has, however, also offered to mediate between the government and Bhansali.

The princess of Jaipur royal family, Diya Kumari, who is also a BJP MLA from Sawai Madhopur, has been asking why the Mewar royal family was not consulted before the movie was made. She has been dominating media space and claiming that the entire woman population in Rajasthan is against the movie and demanded that the movie be shown first to a committee of historians and royal families. “If Padmavati can be shown to TV anchors, Mr Bhansali can show it to us, and if nothing wrong it will cool tempers,” she tweeted two days ago.

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