If attention was the only thing the Sarv Brahmin Mahashaba was seeking, everyone took the bait, hook line and sinker. The Brahmin outfit that was till a few days ago ‘protesting’ the alleged scenes of romance between the Queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmi Bai and a British officer, has withdrawn their objections. The film, Manikarnika, which commenced shooting last year has Kangana Ranaut in the lead role while TV actress Ankit Lokhande is apparently playing Jhalkari Bai.
The film was first in the news because everything Kangana does, usually is. Then it made headlines when she was injured while filming a fight sequence and now, after the curious case of Padmaavat, the film was catapulted under the spotlight by the Brahmin outfit. Just like in the case of Padmaavat, even before the film got made, a fringe group got riled up over a dream sequence.
In the case of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, the dream sequence was supposedly between Delhi’s ruler Alauddin Khilji and the Queen of Chittor, Rani Padmavati. In case of Manikarnika, the sequence was allegedly between Laxmi Bai and an unnamed British office of the East India Company. Any similarity between the concocted dream sequences is purely coincidental, of course.
The filmmakers of both the period sagas denied that any such sequence existed. The Rajput Karni Sena vehemently and judiciously ignored the denial, leading to threats, short-lived bans and destruction of property, before acceding that they were wrong.
On February 5, the national president of the Brahmin outfit, Suresh Mishra declared that the film ‘distorted historical facts’. Kangana called them out by saying the outfit was ‘defaming Laxmi Bai’ by making unfounded claims. The producers of the film then held a conference to clear any misapprehensions the outfit might have had.
Kamal Jain, the producer of the film responded to Mishra’s claims through a letter, saying:
“We are making the film, Manikarnika with a great passion and huge respect towards the great woman who is unmatchable in her reputation.
MR Vijayendra Prasad of Bahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan fame has researched with a huge team and written the story after consulting a good number of scholars and historians. Respected Prasoon Joshi ji is penning the dialogues and lyrics of the film”.
As a result of this letter, which name drops most delicately, the Brahmin outfit’s objections have now been withdrawn.
At this point, we’re just relieved to have a fringe outfit that actually accepts explanations, to be honest.