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Chouhan should apologise for banning Padmavati: Rajesh Joshi (IANS Interview)

By Sandeep Pauranik
Bhopal, Nov 21 (IANS) Award winning poet and author of the verse anthology ‘Do Panktiyon Ke Beech’ (Between Two Lines) Rajesh Joshi has questioned the Madhya Pradesh government’s decision to ban the movie “Padmavati” and has demanded an aplogy from the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his attack on the freedom of expression.

In an interview with IANS the poet said the contested figure of Padmavati in the movie was not a figure in history but character of fiction produced by the sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi (1492-1542) in his epic poem ‘Padmavat’.

“Padmavati is not a historical, but a fictional character written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Often myths take the proportions of reality. The same is happening in this case. Even Rajput community, which doesn’t have knowledge of either history or literature, is raising hell over this and supporting the ban,” he said.

He said further that there can be many ways of interpreting myths and history and “when there can be 300 versions of Ramayan, then even Padmavat can be understood in any number… however, Padmavati is mentioned nowhere in history.”

Terming the fictional character ‘Rashtramata’ (godmother), Chouhan had clamped a ban on the release of the movie on Monday, announcing that the film which was made distorting the facts about the life of Padmavati will not be shown in the state.

Joshi attacked the chief minister for his circumscribing the freedom of expression instead of protecting it, which is the duty of the government, and accused him of pandering to votebank politics.

The Sahitya Akademi Award winning poet said that Chouhan should first apologise publically and then leave the matter to the understanding of the historians and other specialists.

“He is not above the constitution. The government has no right to take such decisions without any proof. The decision to ban the film is foolish,” he said.

Post Source: Ians feed

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