After Padmaavat, Now Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika faces protests by Brahman group

Manikarnika_ The Queen of Jhansi Kangana

New Delhi, Feb 6: It’s not been long when many Indian states saw violent protests against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. The film was accused of distorting the historical facts by the protesting groups. Now, another period film has started facing a similar opposition.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, based on Lakshmi Bai, the 19th Century queen and freedom fighter, stars Kangana Ranaut as the real life queen. While the film is expected to release during the end of the year, Sarva Brahman Mahasabha (SBM) — a Brahman group from Rajasthan — has taken offence at reports that Ranaut’s character will be shown romantically involved with a British officer, and the Mahasabha’s leaders have promised to disrupt the film’s shooting in Rajasthan if the “offensive portions” are not removed, reported News18.

Unsurprisingly, the Rajput Karni Sena has announced their support of their Brahman colleagues. The SBM had previously supported the anti-Padmaavat protests staged by the Karni Sena.

Addressing a press conference in Jaipur on Monday, Suresh Mishra, the president of the Sarva Brahman Mahasabha (SBM) alleged that the film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi distorts history regarding Laxmi Bai and depicts a love affair between her and a British man, reported Hindustan Times.

MSB’s founder president Suresh Misra said, “We learnt about it from our friends and acquaintances in various parts of Rajasthan where some scenes of the film are being shot. The film is based on a foreigner’s book and tries to dampen the queen’s reputation,”.

According to Hindustan Times report, MSB sent letters to the film producer Kamal Jain enquiring about the writers of the film, profile of the historian consulted and details of songs in the film, if there are any. However, they did not receive any response from the producer which produces that his intentions are not good, alleged Mishra.

Laxmi Bai was a Brahmin and therefore the organisation and community have queries as the film is related with Brahmin sentiments and emotions, the letter to the producer from the organisation read. “Nobody can even imagine that Maharani Laxmi Bai could have an affair. She died fighting the British at a young age. If a film is to be made on her life, it should be a biopic,” said Mishra, adding that the organisation is opposed to distorted portrayal of historical figures for commercial motives.

He also requested the state government to contact the producers and acquire an affidavit stating that no distortion of history should take place in the film. “If the same had been done in the case of Padmaavat, there would have been no issue at all,” he said.

Directed by Krish and produced by Kamal Jain and Zee Studios, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi Sonu Sood, Ankita Lokhande and Nihar Pandya and will release in June 2018.

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