Delhi University, ABVP and Intellectual Double Standard

A lot has been written about violence at Ramjas college of Delhi University. Writers quote Prof. Amartya Sen, who has said a climate of fear persists in Indian universities. Other writers throw in happenings at JNU, University of Hyderabad, IIT Chennai, University of Jadavpur etc, to show how Indian Universities are becoming intolerant to discuss and debate ideas. Usual suspect / cultprit is rightwing ABVP, and by extension RSS and BJP lead NDA government at the centre. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that ABVP is not washed in milk and honey. ABVP may have lumpen elements like any other political party. Evidence is emerging that at clash that happened in Delhi University, AISA – SFI affiliated students may not be all innocent bystanders. A picture has appeared where a SFI activist is brutally attacking another person, I would guess ABVP activist. The same person later blamed ABVP for beating up SFI – AISA cadres, and police for inaction. Such a scenario is easily believable. More so, when  dislike of a rightwing organisation becomes prevalent.  News channels ran stories round the clock. 

All said and done, political violence is not uncommon in Indian universities. Compared to type of violence perpetrated by left and TMC affiliated students in Prof. Sen’s backyard, what we saw in Delhi University was very mild. Let us consider a few example : 

  • In late sixties and early seventies, at the peak of naxalite movement, CPM, CPIML and congress used to fight pitched battle in Kolkata and West Bengal. Knives, home made bombs and pipe guns were routinely used. Many students have lost their lives in political violence. History of naxalite violence is well known and is still continuing.
  • After Trina Mool Congress (TMC) took charge of West Bengal, students affiliated to the party had attacked Presidency University. Presidency university was considered a bastion of SFI, CPM affiliated student body. Rape threat were issued to students. University was vandalised. A TMC councillor was arrested.
  • On the last day of filing papers for student union election in Howrah, West Bengal, a TMC student had chased a SFI affiliated student, smashed his head and dumped his body in a canal.
  • In Burdwan University, TMC affiliated staff members had assaulted SFI affiliated student members who had protested against erroneous marking of examination papers. VC of the university had invited police and got SFI affiliated students arrested. Inviting police to campus was considered a big no no at JNU.
  • One cannot ignore violence perpetrated by left cadres  on RSS workers in Kerala. Nearly 2000 RSS workers have been murdred. 
  • Left is so vocal about Rohith Vemulla’s suicide. Left claims Rohith was a dalit, which Andhra government does not accept. Yet a living dalit student is being harassed and persecuted by left for not following their line of thinking.
  • Left that preaches so sanctimoniusly on freedom of expression, had banned Usha Utthup’s performance in Kolkata bar. They called it perverse culture – apasanskriti.
  • Champion of freedom of expression, left leaning student union did not allow Baba Ramdev to address students at JNU. A film by Vivek Agnihotri was allowed screening at JNU after a lot of persuasion.

It is an universal phenomenon, whenever a student body and its parent body becomes strong, they try to capture the space available to them. Left did it, TMC doing it, and ABVP is trying to do the same. 

Of most student bodies, left is most articulate. The urbane left can articulate its grievance well to electronic media and play victim card very well. Being backed by academia in elite institutes, left can also articulate their pro poor, pro underdog position in print media. Yet, when they come to power, left is very much capable of showing its iron fist. Ultra left has no compunction killing civilian advisis, whose battle they profess to fight. Ultra left exhibit no mercy while killing security forces. Yet on a TV studio they articulate in a most sophisticated manner the root cause theory of oppression of poor and dispossessed. I think nation understands where left is coming from. No wonder their support base is shrinking and their shriek is becoming louder.

Indian intellectuals and thought leaders have no problem with the left violence.  At least, they do not articulate it as much. They can accept TMC hooliganism, and corruption of congress. But intelligentsia cannot stand ABVP. Not only ABVP cadres are as coherent in English, they tend to antagonize people by their stance on many things urban Indians like. So there is a widespread dislike for rightwing ABVP among professionals. Yet ABVP is growing. Unlike left and TMC, ABVP is trying to create a different idea of India. So the battle for idea of India has actually began. 


Gurmehar Kaur, ABVP and Ramjas College

Rightwing ABVP and leftwing AISA – SFI students clashed at Ramjas college of Delhi University. Bone of contention was cancellation of seminar invite to Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid of JNU to speak at a history festival being organised by Ramjas college under protest / threat from ABVP. A day after lecture was cancelled, ABVP supported students clashed with AISA – SFI backed students who were protesting cancellation of seminar. There are allegation and counter allegation about who and what triggered the violence. Spokes people of many political parties, including those from ruling BJP, have jumped into debate. Many people from academia had written article about freedom of speech in university campus.

In the middle of all this post of a student of Lady Shri Ram college, Gurmehar Kaur has gone viral.  Gurmehar is daughter of an army man. Her father, Captain Manjit Singh, had lost his life in Indo Pak war of 1999, also known as Kargil war. Gurmehar had put herself in the middle of the clash between left and right. She claimed that she is a student of Delhi University. She is apolitical.  She also announced that she is not afraid of ABVP. She has claimed that it is war that had killed her father, not Pakistani aggression. Gurmehar had got threat of physical violence including gang rape because of her post. Rape threat to Gurmehar Kaur is absolutely unacceptable. People who threatened her with rape are absolute low lives and deserve jail sentence. It has emerged that female members of right wing group were also assaulted physically. It is claimed that leftwing student members did the violence.

It remains to be explored who is Gurmehar Kaur, and what is her affiliation? By her own admission, Gurmehar was not present at Ramjas college on the day clash broke out. Yet she has taken a position against ABVP. If she is apolitical, she should have condemned political violence of both left and right. Why did she spare AISA – SFI?

Tone and tenor of Gurmehar’s post does not suggest she is an apolitical student. She was to attend SFI march in Delhi University on 28th Feb, 2017, that she has decided not to join. Evidence exists to suggest that Gurmehar works with Ms. Kavita Krishnan of ultra left organisation CPIML. Nothing wrong with her political leaning. Except that, it goes against her claim that she is apolitical.

Gurmehar is against war. She believes Pakistan did not kill her father, war did. Does she mean  rightwing BJP / NDA initiated war in 1999? If that is what her understanding of Kargil war of 1999, she needs to brush up her history. 

In life war happens. One needs to defend and sometimes give supreme sacrifice. Gurmehar’s father did give his life. Sine time immemorial, people and nations have fought to annexe / acquire what is not theirs in the first place. War cannot be stopped by seminar. To prevent a war, one has to be strong enough to repulse an attack.  A war can be prevented only when other side realises how strong the opponent is.

Given the political support from congress party that Gurmehar is getting, I would not be surprised if her posts have come up in the middle of election to embarrass the government. People who criticise government ministers for getting involved in student political of JNU, University of Hyderabad etc., are happily jumping into the same in Delhi University. 

Balasore to Kanpur and Beyond

We got off Toofan express at Kanpur central. It was a misty winter morning. My uncle received us at the station. My father has been transferred from Balasore in Odisha to Kanpur in UP. Born and raised in eastern part of India, my world, and I guess my mothers too, used to revolve around Howrah and Balasore. Kanpur in heartland of UP was way beyond our radar. My mother started teaching me Hindi alphabets, soon she learnt about imminent transfer. As if, the moment we reached Kanpur, I should be able to converse in Hindi dialect.

We loaded our stuff on a rickshaw and started our journey in a new city. Our luggage was to arrive late by goods train. My father’s bicycle had arrived with us in the same train. My father rode his cycle with my uncle. We moved towards Chakeri, a suburb of Kanpur city. Road to Chakeri ran past military Cantonment and ended at HAL factory and Air Force base. Lal Bangla, where my uncle stayed fell in between. Lal Bangla was an urban village. There few pucca houses and many hutments. 

Uncle was renting a two room house. House had its privacy once the main door was closed. Being sun facing, it was nice and warm in winter but unbearable in summer.  Rooftop of the house was accessible through stairs. One could see far. One could see trains running between Howrah Delhi main line. There was a sense of  of freedom, a sense of openness from rooftop. House had no running water . Water was drawn from a well to fill a tank. Manual scavenging was still prevalent in that part of Kanpur.  

 Uncle was an ex airman. He had retired from airforce and joined HAL or Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. My father was transferred to the defence accounts department of HAL. One day, uncle arranged a visit to the shop floor of HAL. The factory was building aircrafts. Uncle was proudly showing aircrafts. But my fascination with train continued. When I saw a train line, probably meant for a goods train, I asked, “mama ji when will train come?” Obviously, my uncle got more than a little annoyed at this nephew asking about a train in an aircraft factory.
My mother was keen to start her own establishment. After a few days, we moved out into a rented accommodation in J K Colony.  Colony was created by J K Textile mill owners for their employees. Quarters ended up being rented out to employees of HAL and Air Force. In the morning one could see air men in their blue uniform riding their bicycle to work. Compared to Lal Bangla, J K Colony was planned and organised. There were two rows of quarters in each block with a road searing each block. Each block of buildings had mostly two stories. Quarters on the ground floor had a front yard for gardening purpose and a backyard.  I remember changing three accommodations in J K Colony. All rented places, one room quarters with hall and kitchen. 

I was admitted to New Light school. The school was situated on the  junction between road that bifurcates from road to HAL and moves towards Lucknow. Friends and neighbours who heard name of my school, claimed it was a stable. It was very bruising to my young ego. But there was no denying school was small housed in a run down building. Students were from a different strata of society. One day I was hit by a stone while sitting on school stair. I used to walk to school and back. That day, I wanted to hire a rickshaw. I wanted to blend in with fellow students. So I asked, “kiloni chaloge?” Rickshaw puller looked at me and asked “where?” I said “kiloni.” He asked “where is kiloni?” I said ” have you not heard of J. K. Colony“. Why don’t you say “colony? You are getting educated. Why do you say kiloni to colony?” I was speechless.

Kali was a Good Dog.

Kali was not our pet. Her owners had most likely left her on her fate as they moved on. Kali came and sat at our door. We were out for a few days. As we returned, we found Kali sitting at our door step and enthusiastically wagging her tail. She was genuinely happy to see us. My mother gave her one sweet, sandesh, that was a prasad of mother Kali. Kali, the dog, ate it up eagerly and looked up for more. My mother was impressed. “She must be a devotee of mother. Look how is she enjoying the prasad“. My mother was a cat lover. But Kali had managed to impress her. So she stayed on. 

Kali was not an average mongrel. She appeared to be a mixed breed. Her body was blackish and her muzzle was also like that of an altatian. I am not an expert on dogs. But she did not appear to be average street dog. Kali managed to befriend my father, my sister and me. I would sit on chair and read news paper or watch TV. Kali will sit on the floor near my feet. On some days I would put my legs on her body. Kali would lick bottom of my feet as a sign of affection. She would do her duties to host. During the day, she would sit on the low wall of our flat and growl at any stranger trying to get an entry. People would call her general of our family.

Her social life will start at night. She would get out by nine. In the night she will bark at neighbourhood dogs sitting on the wall. Generally there will be ruckus as other dogs responded. Kali had many friends. A few days, I tried to bring her in forcibly. Then she understood my game plan. Moment I got out, she would jump off the wall and run away. A few days she would express her displeasure by growling. Kali would return by 3 in the morning. She would scratch our door incessantly. Someone of us had to open the door for her. She would enter innocently like nothing happened, and climb up on on sofa and go to sleep. 

One day Kali disappeared. She used to do her vanishing act sometime, specially during her mating season. It appears Kali was sterilised by her previous owners. She never bore any pup. This time, however, Kali did not return for more than seven days. We heard from neighbourhood guard that most probably Kali was taken  by municipality. Some neighbour must have complained. Anyway, Kali returned after nearly ten days. But by 12th day, Kali was not the same again. She spent most of the day and night lying down. We saw a small bloody mark on her belly. Kali started failing and  passed away. We do not know what killed Kali. Did someone try to neuter her and botched up? Kali was a good dog. Her owners let her loose, her doctors killed her.  In a country where humans are treated so poorly, can we expect better for Kali, a dog?. 

Jayalalitha, Sasikala and Succession War

A wise politician had said, “when a big tree falls, earth shakes”. This prophecy followed loss of lives of many people in Delhi. Recently, it appears similar prophecy coming true in Tamil Nadu after demise of chief minister J Jayalalitha. Looking at the faces of supporters and well wisher of the departed chief minister, when she was in her sickbed, it may appear Ms. Jayalalitha was a saint. Ordinary people came from far and wide of the state and sat outside the hospital praying. Yet, hardly a month after her passing away, supreme court of India passed a verdict convicting her in disproportionate asset case. While her supporters demanded nothing less than a posthumous Bharat Ratna for Ms. Jayalalitha, for others she was noting more than a criminal who had amassed ill-gotten wealth using her position of power.

Turmoil, however, started almost immediately after Jayalalitha was buried. Jalikattu protest started demanding initiation of ancient bull taming sport. Two oil tankers collided, and famous Marina beach of Chennai was polluted, Not to mention of unimaginable damage to marine flora and fauna. Man who deflty managed unrest and accident, the man who was handpicked by Ms. Jayalalitha to become chief minister, Mr. O Panner Selvam, was asked to resign and give up chief minister’s chair in favour of Ms. Sasikala. Not only that, same corrupt and dubious relatives of Ms Sasikala, people that were estranged by Ms. Jayalalitha, were given party posts to strengthen hold of Ms. Sasikala. 

Is this a victory for democracy? No body knows. It is true, Ms. Sasikala and her chosen chief minister had the number. People on the street, however, had not faith on leadership of Sasikala controlled government. Quite unusual for an AIADMK member, Mr. OPS, out going chief minister, found enough courage to revolt against Sasikala. Was he goaded by some inimical power? He, however, did not have number. Ms. Sasikala if she had so many MLAs in her favour, what was her hurry to become chief minister so soon? Was there any interior motive?

n the whole saga, Tamil Nadu governor has come under a lot of fire. While purists have suggested governor should have called Ms. Sasikala to form government, because she had number. This would have maintained neutrality and objectivity of a constitution authority. On the other hand, it has been argued that governor is not a robot. It is good that governor has used his judgement, he had weighed different pros and con and then only invited Mr. Palanisami to form government by proving his majority.

There was anger on the streets of Chennai over Ms Sasikala’sa attempt at grabbing power. There was anger at naked manipulation of the system and concentrating power in the hand of family, namely family of Sasikala. Mr. Kamal Hassan has dubbed Tamil Nadu government as criminal conglomerate. Yet, citizens are helpless because show has changed into a numbers game. Despite efforts of Mr. O Panner Selvam, Ms. Sasikala had number on her side. Despite allegation that MLAs were held hostage in a resort, numbers still held. At this time, Ms Sasikala’s chosen chief minister, Mr. Palanisami, has won a trust vote in assembly. 


Dinanath, the Rickshaw Puller

Dinanath used to ferry my mother from home to school and back in his rickshaw. My mother had a monthly arrangement with him. Initially, mother and a student of her were Dinanath’s passenger. Later I also joined the group. Dinanath did not look like a regular rickshaw puller. His mannerisms and his demeanor suggested that he was an educated person. Though he never revealed how far he had studied. We also never asked. 

Those days Kanpur was relatively less populated. Public transport used to be few and far between. Scooters were used by relatively affluent people. Not many people had access to cars.  We also used to walk a lot. Some time for work and at other times just for leisure. I remember, in evenings we would go for a walk as a family. One would not mind walking a mile to go from one point to another. Many people used to commute by bicycle and cycle rickshaw. A rickshaw meant for two passengers, could carry as many as five passengers. 

Like people decorate their cars these days, cycle rickshaws used to be beautified. Conscientious owners / drivers would wash their vehicle regularly. Seats would get a protective cover. Like hub cap of car wheels, rear wheels of a rickshaw would have metal cap to protect ball bearings. Shinier the better. Handle bar would have colourful  protective cover. Good rickshaw would have a good sounding bell. A smart professional driver would also pull his vehicle fast through crowd. Speedier the better. A good rickshaw and a smart driver could demand higher fare, almost one and a half time the regular fare.

 Vehicle that Dinanath used to ply was not very well decorated.  On to of that, Dinanath was an extremely slow driver. At his speed, he should arrive at least 15 min before time. He used to come on time, but my mother would reach school on an average ten min late. Meanwhile, I also joined the same school where my mother was teaching. Repeated entreaty to come early and/or drive faster never yielded any result. Dinanath would smile but drive at his own pace. I was thoroughly disenchanted with Dinanath. All other rickshaws would fly past us, while we crawled along. The evenings when Dinanath would not show up, I used to be the happiest. At least that day we would hire a rickshaw that not only looked good but also rode fast.

One morning, as ususal Dinanath came at his time. He gave me stickers of a political party. He wanted me to pin one to my shirt. He also taught me a limerick, “langde loole bahre kaan, congress ki wohi pahachan”. Being totally apolitical 9 year old, I never understood then what it implied.  There was a lot of consternation among my fellow students, when I repeated the slogan and stickers fell out of my bag. “so are you in politics?” asked one of my friends. Class teacher called me up and pinched my ear. “What is happening these days? Young boys are joining politics! Does your mother know of your activity? How many marks did you score in your half yearly exam? You moron!” I did not have much to say or show for. So I stood quietly. 

I do not know what had transpired among adults. Dinanath stopped coming from next morning. A few days later, he came to collect payment due to him. I was taking a nap. He greeted me with a smiling face. He asked me politely, “how are you son? continue with studies and do well in life.” He was not bitter for losing his job. Dinanath left soon after. Later I learnt from my father that Dinanath was associated with Jan sangh. I never met him thereafter. But I remember his quiet dignity. 

Journey of Life

Life is a journey, it is often said. Dharmaraj Yudhisthira on his final journey with his wife and brothers, never looked back even when one after another his relatives started falling away. Like a river, flow of life moves on from birth to death. 

For some strange reason, I always like any journey much more than destination. Journey, to me, signifies something new, something changing, something full of possibility at every step. Destination, by contrast, similar people, similar story, basically same old stuff. 

In my childhood days mostly I used to travel by train. Preparation and anticipation of a journey reaches a peak till the time I board a train. In train, if I could get hold of a window seat, life would be so much satisfying. Like life, as train moved on scenes would change at a fast pace. I would look at stationary people on platforms waiting for their train to arrive. It gave me a feeling of leaving people behind in the journey. 

My inclination towards journey, had kept me moving all my life. I had an insatiable desire to continue whatever activity from beginning till end. I was never happy with joining or leaving a program midway. In life everything comes to end.  Sometimes program is not terminated, other time the experimentor has to leave. Questions remain unanswered, curiosity remains, journey is forced to reach its end. 

Tarek Fateh and Fateh ka Fatwa

Fateh ki Fatwa is a discussion program aired by Zee TV. The program is telecast in Hindi. Anchor of the program is Tarek Fateh. Mr Fateh was born in Pakistan. In Pakistan, Mr. Fateh was imprisoned in Pakistan. Mr. Fateh was banned from practicing his profession of journalism in Pakistan. Mr. Fateh moved to Saudi Arabia and later to Pakistan.  Mr. Fateh is now based in India. He is a vocal critic of orthodox practices in Islam. By his own admission, Mr. Fateh’s family were originally Hindu. They converted to Islam sometime in 1840. Parents of Mr. Fateh moved to Pakistan post partition.

Mr. Fateh is a vocal critic of Pakistan, of orthodox islam. The television program that Mr. Fateh hosts, Fateh ki Fatwa, intends to discuss practices in Islam that tends to stand out. Mr. Fateh invites prominent people from muslim community and initiates a dialogue and discussion with them and among them. His guests include muslim clerics, maulana and mufti, academician, feminist and social workers, and business men. I was watching, recently, one episode of Fateh ki Fatwa (episode number 5). As I understood, the program gets very heated and participants get very agitated. The show I watched, one cleric attacked Tarek Fateh that his daughter is sleeping with a non muslim. If Fateh cannot control his daughter, how can he speak of greater Islamic society (kaum). In another episode (I had only watched highlight), one muslim cleric had claimed Tarek Fateh will be beaten with shoe and thrown out of India. Some even suggested how can a muslim decry his own religion and Tarek Fateh is a kafir. 

In this background, it is important to ask what purpose Mr. Fateh’s talkshow is serving. Definitely the format of program is such that viewers can see many people highly agitated. There is aggression among participants. Some even get personal. Obviously, such a show is a great source of TRP for a channel. So Zee News and Mr. Fateh may be interested in propagating the show. For non muslims, specially those who want to denounce Islam, the show may be source of great amusement. But what purpose it is really serving?

Certain organisations like Maulana Ansar Raza of Garib Nawaz Foundation has filed a petition in court to stop airing of the show. According to them, the show propagates division between different communities in India. Such a program if allowed to continue, may promote violence among communities. Based on our experience with shooting of the film Padmavati, such a possibility cannot be discounted. Yet a liberal secular democracy cannot legally prevent a program from airing in the absence of any evidence. Mr. Fateh may do well listening to advice of participants, who urge him to bring to his show more intellectuals from the community and less religious preachers. 

Mr. Fateh’s talkshow on Islamic practices and how they are  controlled by religious preachers and orthodoxy is in all liklihood genuine. At least no one can accuse Mr. Fateh of trying to interfere in affairs of the community, while being a non muslim himself. In the show Fateh ki Fatwa, if participants become so angry and agitated, will they ever take the message of  discussion seriously? Any change in any society, including in the Islamic society, has to come from within. Tarek Fateh may be stirring the pot, may be people will take his point, but majority of muslims are getting more offended by the show than getting enlightend.  However, the show brings to my mind a novel I read titled Satyakam. One message of the novel that is ingrained in my mind is “if stay (truth) is not accompanied by shiv and sundar, does it have much appeal?” May be Mr. Fateh should change is tone or format or his participants. A Maulana or a Mufti may be educated in the matter of Islamic theology, but they may not be qualifed to debate and discussed on matters of history.

Padmavati, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and History

Was Rani Padmini of Chittor romantically inclined towards Alauddin Khilji? We do not know. Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is making the film Padmavati would not reveal his story. This has infuriated Karni Sena of Rajasthan. Karni sena vandalised set of Padmavati, man handled Sanjay Leela Bhansali. In the end, Sanjay Leela Bhansali decided to take his shooting crew out of Jaipur.

Assault on Sanjay Leela Bhansali is condemnable. I think Karni Sena should have taken legal recourse, if they had a genuine grievance. This assault also brings to focus the issue of artistic freedom. Are creative people not allowed to take liberty with established facts and create a fictional account based on their interpretation? More so with the character of Padmavati, whom historians / history do not consider to be a real person. According to history, the first written account of Padmavati emerged from the writing of Malik Mohammad Jayashi, who penned Padmavat in 15th century, nearly 200 years after original Padmavati was believed to have died.

Much concerted effort is being made to project Hindu icons, including Rani Padmavati, as mythical figures. It is even suggested image of a brave general, that is Alauddin Khilji, is being sullied by branding him as a person enamoured by beauty of a Hindu queen. It is important to consider a few points : 

  • First written account has come from Padmavat penned by Malik Mohammad Jayashi. In the poem itself all principal characters remain intact. Namely Alauddin Khilji, Rana Rattan Singh and Rani Padmini. In Padmavat of Malik Jayeshi, all principal characters were included. There was Alauddin Khilji, Rana Rattan Singh and Rani Padmini. If Padmini was fictional, then so were Sultan Alauddin and Rana Ratan Singh. But history states otherwise.
  •  Wikipedia documents history of Suryavanshi Sisodiya dynasty from 1326 onwards. Alauddin Khilji invaded Chittor in 1303 for the second time. It is evident that a kingdom existed before 1326, a king was there and an invasion happened. Tracing Suryavanshi genealogy  lead us to Bappa Rawal, who conquered Chittor in 8th century. Several generation later Rana Rahapa started Sisodiya dynasty. Rulers before 1326 do not find mention in regular history books. Does that mean, these people never existed?
  • A concerted attempt is being made to project Rani Padmini / Padmavati did never exist.  It has been argued that Padmini is a figment of right wing Hindutva imagination. As early as 1820, British writer James Todd had compiled the Legends of Rajasthan. He presented Padmini as a historical figure. Later on, Abanindranath Tagore presented Padmini as a historical figure in his novel Rajkahini. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru also wrote about Padmini in his book “The Discovery of India”. All these people were not right wing fanatics. 
  • Jauhar is an act where women sacrifice their lives by jumping in burning fire. A Jauhar kund still exists in the palace of Chittor. In the history of Chittor, Jauhar has been performed three times. When Rajputs lost to Sultan Alauddin Khilji in 1303, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535 and  emperor Akbar in 1568. 
  • History is the interpretation of events as seen and interpreted by victors. Historians that travelled with Alauddin Khilji, namely Amir Khusrau and later Barani, have not endorsed the view that Alauddin Khilji was enamoured by Padmini. That interpretation can be that of victorious Sultan not necessarily that of vanquished Rajputs. In Britain, children are not taught how Britain treated Indian people during their 300 year rule. Does that mean, British never came to India? Also, can we neglect work of James Todd on The Legends of Rajasthan?
  • Much history in India used to be conveyed by word of mouth by bards. Because it was an Indian cultural tradition of Shruti. Events may be embellished based on who is narrating the story. Yet, the story of Rani Padmini, that has survived over seven hundred years and spread across length and breadth of a vast country, in the absence of any modern means of communication, must have some element of truth. 

Many in India have grown up listening tale of bravery of Rani Padmini. A queen who sacrificed her life rather than surrendering to invading army. If such an act bravery is trivialised by potraying that queen had a romantic inclination towards invading general, in the name of artistic freedom, then it is natural that people may get angry. 

India is a continuing civilisation. It is possible that people from Suryavansh dynasty may be living in present day. Indians are emotional people. In the face of repeated onslaught to show anything from Indian past is a myth and cooked up history, we may not react in a very rational manner. It was  imperative that film company had quashed any false rumour by being open and upfront and by talking to protestors.. 

1. Who Is Rani Padmini? A 10 Point-Guide To The Padmavati Row › All India