Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS) is a Rajput caste organisation founded in 2006. It is based in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. The association favours “national unity” and is opposed to caste-centric positive discrimination and “corruption”.
SRKS had protested when the film Jodhaa Akbar was released in 2008. According to Goldie Osuri, an academic with specialist interests in depictions of nationalism in the media, the public objection of the SRKS was related to a “minor historical indeterminacy” regarding whether the fictional central character was the wife or daughter-in-law of the Mughal emperor Akbar. Osuri says that a wider analysis of media and blog sources shows that the real objection was to the depiction of marriage between the Muslim Akbar and a Hindu Rajput princess. She has describes the SRKS both as a Hindutva and a Hindu nationalist group.
The SRKS did not receive an apology from the Jodhaa Akbar film-maker, Ashutosh Gowariker, as they had demanded but some Rajasthani cinemas did refuse to show the production and there were some protests in other states also. The organisation then objected to the 2010 movie Veer, which they claimed maligned their “brave community”. They vandalized some cinemas that showed the film
Why they are not Supporting Padmavati?
In January activists of the Karni Sena had protested and manhandled and misbehaved with the crew of Bhansali’s Padmavati claiming that the filmmaker was distorting historical facts in the movie. They had also damaged some cameras and other equipments.
The Karni Sena claimed that they have got a big library and that in no book is it written that Alauddin Khilji, a powerful ruler of the Khilji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate in 13th-14th century, fell in love with Padmavati or that he was her lover. “They are trying to defame Padmavati by distorting historical facts. It is not acceptable,” an activist of Karni Sena said.
What are their next steps?
Leading the protest, the national president of Shri Rajput Karni Sena Sukhdev Singh said the movie, set to be released on December 1, should either be banned or screened after removing the controversial portions.
“We want the film to be screened first. It should be released only after we approve it. What we have learnt is that there is lots of distortion of historical facts. Till our objections are addressed, we will not let the movie to be screened anywhere,” said Singh addressing a gathering.
The protests against ‘Padmavati’ had till now been confined to the northern and western parts of the country.
Bhansali has been facing trouble since he started shooting for the movie.
The set of the movie was vandalised twice in Jaipur and Kolhapur and the director was roughed up by members of the Karni Sena during the Jaipur schedule of the film earlier this year.