An Open letter from a Bollywood fan.

Padmavati should not be released, here’s why.

I don’t think Padmavati should be released either, hear me out.

This is not read bait. I don’t think it is a good idea for the movie to be out and here’s why… It is a simple one-word answer, Sati. Is 2018 the day and age when we have run out of ideas that we are forced to watch movies that honour an allegedly fictitious woman’s decision to kill herself when her husband is murdered?

Now, it is the duty of women to stand for women, which is what feminism is all about. As a working woman, I am all with women who want children and make a home a decision that is far cry from mine but equally prestigious. I appreciate a woman’s decision to get married at 21 as soon as she is deemed mature to make the decision just as I would stand by someone who gets married by 51 for a second chance at love. Do I stand by a woman who along with multitudes of her kind went into a funeral pyre? No, I do not.

One might say times have changed. Back in historical times it was either be taken or take your life. Yes, when in fact that is true how many movies do we see of strong women from history who made good decisions adorn the silver screen? With the likes of suicides on the rise with 2017 being one of the worst with Anita dying for NEET and another girl setting herself ablaze in a university one wonders if it is the right time for a movie with the protagonist setting herself ablaze would be appropriate.

That being said, we do respect the arts. Never judge a movie by its trailer. Maybe the movie has not undermined the efforts of Ram Mohan Roy and reintroduced a culturally inappropriate practice back into an already patriarchy slanted world. Maybe the sole purpose of the movie is to display a wonderful time in history with equally enchanting characters. As Central Board of Film Certification said in its statement, the film is asked to give a few disclaimers — one of them regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati and also relevant modifications in the song “Ghoomar” to befit the character portrayed. With these changes let’s hope the film does what it is meant to do and nothing more – that is entertain.

*Views expressed are author’s own.

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