It was very brave on the part of actress Kangana Ranaut to have taken on the Rajput fringe group Karni Sena over the new film Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi. Kangana plays the protagonist in the movie; she is also one of its two directors.
Reacting to the threats issues by the Karni Sena, she issued a statement, “Four historians have certified Manikarnika, we have got censor certificate as well, Karni Sena has been conveyed this but they are continuing to harass me. If they don’t stop, then they should know I am also a Rajput and I will destroy each one of them.”
In response, a body called the Shri Rajput Karni Sena said that it did not protest against the movie and alleged that some other group was its name, but still went on to extract and apology from Kangana. It maintains that she has made a derogatory remark against it.
Again, she has remained resolute: “I will not apologize to anybody. I have never apologized whenever I haven’t made a mistake. We have promised that we haven’t shown anything wrong about Rani Laxmibai in the film so, they should support us. Rani Laxmibai is not my relative and I feel she is daughter of the entire country, so we all should support the film. Shri Rajput Karni Sena should not play their ego card with me because I am not here to say sorry to anyone.”
Her courage is in sharp contrast to the docility of the makers and actors of Padmaawat. Based on the life and jauhar of the Rajput Queen Padmini, it was violently opposed by the Karni Sena. Deepika Padukone, who played the lead role, was threatened with physical disfigurement; even a bounty was announced on her head. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was beaten up and the sets of the film were vandalized.
Kangana has shown the way to the creative people. They cannot just keep complacent about their fundamental rights. Yes, our Constitution guarantees the right freedom of expression, but this right has be protected; it is a freedom they—indeed all of us—have to fight for. Constant vigilance, they say, is the cost of liberty. In in the Indian milieu, the price is higher; we have to be more than vigilant; we also have to be warriors. Kangana has surely proved to be one, in the true spirit of the Rani of Jhansi. Many more warriors are needed to fight the evil represented by the outfits like the Karni Sena.