Okay! Now let’s cut the crap and get to the point.
I read you astounding piece about the flick Padmavaat on The Wire and was marvelled the eloquent and succinct way you jotted down your thought provoking ideas. You did a commendable job. I enjoyed the reading thoroughly but at the end I felt I could not disagree more.
To begin with, I don’t really agree with you linking the current situation of women in the country with the theme of the movie. Overwhelming number of Bollyowood releases treat women with contempt. Harassment of women, eve teasing, rape, portrayal of women as a weaker sex are very common and recurring scenes in Bollywood movies. So singling out Padmaavat and holding it in contempt, which is a historical drama, does not really make sense. Your piece on Bollywood in general would have made more sense.
You vociferously voiced against romntization of the final Jauhar scene. I find it is really ridiculous. What are movies for? The purpose of a commercial movie is to connect with the audience, and provide them with wholesome entertainment. Climax or ending are the most important part of a movie. Most of the time success of a movie depends upon its climax. I guess, I don’t have to tell these to a well informed Bollywood celeb like you. No matter how gory the scene of climax is, you can’t fault Bhansali for it. At the end of the day it is a commercial movie. Not a documentary or film with a special message.
Finally and most importantly, I can’t really agree with your idea of choosing a life of full of humiliation over glorified death. Please put yourself in the place of Padmavati and go back to the context and time. Visualise a mad enemy is at your border, and inevitably he kills your husband and your entire family members. He destroys the entire kingdom, unprovoked, just for you. Would you turnover yourself happily to the enemy?
Of course I believe Jauhar is a sad practice. There were other painless ways to commit suicide. I personally feel either the invaders used to rape women of conquered territory, alive or dead, or there was fear among the women folk their dead bodies could be subject to rape. The purpose was thus likely to mutilate body beyond recognition so that enemy can’t even think of rape. Hence the Jauhar (no justification though).
PS: I neither one of them nor I do agree with those who mounted personal attack on you for your piece on the movie.