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Lots of controversy is brewing up these days over the popular and rather unusually controvertial director, producer’s recent magnus opus,” Padmavti,”played by one time much talked about Badminton player of international fame Prakash Padukone’s daughter and a super hit actress Deepti Padukone and lot is written about it as well including stories making rounds in electronic channels of the country.

Those strictly opposing the screening of this extremely high budgeted film are the Rajputs being led by none other than an undisputed leader of Rajasthan Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder of KARNI SENA who’ve surprisingly chosen Gujarat as their battle field to counter the director, producer of the film Padmavati, for a mass appeal and congregation of Rajput community demanding complete ban on the movie, making it a do or die issue. But what makes everybody surprised and astonished is the fact is why is it that obstinate and adament leader of the Rajput community Kalvi has chosen Gujarat as the nucleaus of his fight against Bhansali than Mumbai where the director/producer of the film lives and the Bollywood industry, exists.

Everyone is well aware that Gujarat state is on election mode these days and political implications of such events like huge conglomeration of Rajputs in the name of opposing a would be blockbustre film can’t be easily ruled out. On 11 th November more than over one lakh people of Rajput community under the aiges of KARNI SENA assembled in Gujarat and demanded outright ban on Padmavati and filing of the cases under anti national act against its director Bhansali. This is not the first time that Bhansali is facing the ire of the people and some of his previous films too he had initially earned the peoples’ wrath but his films like Baji Rao Mastani was a super duper hit later on.

Those opposing the screening of PADMAVATI accuse Bhansali of twisting the historical facts of 16th century and depicting the role of the most beautiful, brave and ethical legendary queen in extremely poor light as Allauddin Khilji’s beloved , thus denigrating the prestige and dignity of a well respected Rajput queen of a 16th century era, however, outrightly denied by Sanjay Leela as utterly non sense and baseless. According to the Karni Sena founder and the man behind the anti Padmavati agitation Lokendra Sinh Kalvi, the dance sequence that exhibits Queen Padmavati swaying merrily to the beats of the melodious song with her nemesis, marauding, mad with lust Alladdin khilji, the then Sultan of Delhi in the movie has amounted to a direct insult to the dignity of the Rajput Rani as well as the whole Rajput women. However, the director of the movie has denied that such a scene has ever been shot or shown.

The eminent writer Shobha De in one of her articles writes: The point is, commercial movies cannot be equated with documentaries. Movies are movies- vehicles of mass entertainment, not to be confused with an accurate recreation of an event or an era. History itself has countless interpretations.

Anyways, now the mega movie PADMAVATI is set for release and the controversy have added more glare to his movie. What happen’s next is anybody’s guess but one thing is for sure that in this whole game of opposition and criticism both, the director of the film Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the Karni Sena founder Lokendra Sinh Kalvi are likely to win, one by earning money and fame and another politically. Public is the ultimate victim which makes things happen, ultimately.

SUNIL NEGI

 

 

 

 

 

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31st October 1984 was the most tragic day from both the points of view. One, the most dastardly assasination of the most loved and respected leader of the country of international eminence late Indira Gandhi who ruled India with guts, determination and wisdom for more than one and a half decade and created history of sorts by dividing Pakistan, creating Bangladesh and the second one was the horrendous riots committed thereafter for three, four days killing over four thousand Sikhs in Delhi and thousands in other parts of India in spontaneous retaliation as well as the managed operation, never ever witnessed in the aftermath of the assasination of any leader post independence.

Late Mrs Indira Gandhi was killed by her own two sikh body guards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh in the prime minister’s residence 3 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi sending shock waves like wild fire in Delhi and rest of India. They were later on hanged to death gallows after a long trial. Delhi was literally on fire all around with houses of Sikhs in posh as well as the resettlement colonies of Delhi burning with highly surcharged mobs killing sikhs where ever they were spotted.

The areas of Punjabi Bagh, Rajauri Garden, Safdarjung Enclave, Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, Jahagir puri, Trilokpuri, Khichripur, Najafgarh, Palam, Suktanpuri, Mangolpuri, Kingway camp, etc were the worst victims of anti Sikh riots with Sikhs and even those wearing turbans n having beard hailing from lowest ebb of the society like petty carpenters and cot weavers were killed in abudance and women shockingly raped as well.

Several members of the sikh community were tortured to death by these hooligans and professional anti social elements in broad day light by throwing them on fire and throwing burnt tyred around their necks. It took four days for these messacres to end. Hundreds of thousands of women became widow, children orphaned and several families having been wiped out. Several parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir too witnessed such dastardly anti sikh riots.

The mobs looted shops, showrooms and factories owned the Sikh proprietors. Delhi looked like a towering inferno with black smoke and fire blaze being witnessed all over Delhi with sky becoming literally dark with excessive black fumes and smog. After the tragic death of Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, the anti sikh riots’ and its provocation was so widespread and terrorising that there was literally no rule of law in Delhi and elsewhere with rioters , looters and professional hooligans in mobs having their fullest say, for three to four days in a sequence and police not to be found at the rescue of the victims.

After the silence and lull, several commission of enquiries were instituted and several of the indicted and convicted politicians have either died or have gone into political oblivion but the victims and the sufferers of these most despicable and horrendous riots have still not been delivered justice even after more than 32 years as claimed by several Sikh organisations fighting a protracted battle in various courts of the country, since then.

SUNIL NEGI

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SUNIL NEGI

The lakhs of people living in or outside Uttarakhand have not forgotton the black day of 2nd October 1994 when hundreds of separate Uttarakhand movement activists, including innocent women, men and children were mercilessly assaulted, thrashed, killed from point blank range by the unprovoked and arbitrary police firing and several women lost their dignity by being obnoxiously raped.

It was indeed a most terror stricken night of 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanti when hundreds of peaceful movement activists heading to Delhi’s Ram Lila Maidan’ s massive Uttarakhand rally were forcibly stopped on the way at Mujaffarnagar Rampur Tiraha and lynched for no fault of theirs. About fifteen movements activists died on spot and several others injured including innocent few sexually assauted women having lost their dignity. Shocking and anguishing to note that the erring officers and policemen responsible for this gruesome and barbaric act under the jurisdiction of the then Mulayam Singh Yadav led Samajwadi Party government are still at large and were even promoted handsomely as if they have done a wonderful job. What looks embarassing is the fact that a protracted period of more than 21 years has elapsed by now , several governments changed and even the state of Uttarakhand has assumed an age of 17 years.

This was the most gruesome imcident during the Uttarakhand phase that led to the movement gaining mamentum nationally, finally achiving the separate statehood on 9th November, 2000. The spate of killings in police firing continued even after this terrorising incident of Ram pur Trijunction in Mujaffar Nagar, UP during the movement phase till the year 2000 and in all 46 movement activists who consisted of women, young and old aged citizens lost their precious lives through pellet injuries,on the spot instataneous deaths or in police custody . While nationally 2nd October is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti in the name of the apostle of peace and non violence in Uttarakhand 2nd October is remembered as the UTTARAKHAND MATYRS DAY when people of Uttarakhand especially the AANDOLANKARIES hold rallies, Dharnas’ and protest meeting at Rampur Tiraha Trijunction and Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to pay their heatfelt tributes to these martyrs of Uttarakhand movement and demand from the Union and Uttar Pradesh governments stringent punishments to the guilty which has not been fulfilled even after protracted 21 years.

What is more shocking, surprising and astonishing is the fact that the successive governments of Uttarakhand whether of Congress or BJP has never ever taken pain or interest in assuaging the feelings, sentiments or emotions of thousands of aandolankaries and filed a writ petition in the honorable Supreme Court of India to demand the penalisation of the guilty officers of the then UP and police administration who are scot free and must have been retired by now after having got number of promotions.  It was only due to the sacrifices of these Uttarakhand Martyrs’ that the long struggle bore fruits and finally Uttarakhand achieved its separate existence.

Uttarakhand witnessed 8 chief ministers and freequent change of governments but notbody had time and interest to respect and assuage the sentiments of thousands of Uttarakhand movement activists. Shame

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Today is the black day and has been registered in the history of Uttarakhand. The 1.25 crore inhabitants of the 17 year old state could never forget 2nd September, 1994 when the merciless, most inhuman and barbaric police without any provocation, fired from point blank range and killed innocent separate state movement activists Belamati Chouhan and Hansa Dhanai and four others namely Balbir Singh etc who were democratically raising anti establishment slogans and demanding separate state out of undivided Uttar Pradesh then ruled by the anti people and erroneous  Samajwadi party and its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mussourie was the epicentre of outstandingly spontaneous Uttarakhand movement after Pauri where for the very first time Uttrakhand’s Matra Shakti ( women power) Belamati Chouhan and Hansa Dhanai the relentless women fighter n four other andolankaries were brutally martyred from point blank range and hundreds of others injured by the reckless anti people and ruthless police thus mobilising the movement in whole of Uttarakhand and nationally.

The notorious murderous police were so high-handed and brutal that those who opposed their illegal and reckless actions were also dealt with severely and the then DIG Umakant Tripathi was also horrendously killed from the point blank range. Twenty-three years ago on this day, Mussouri had become the ground of blood bath where six innocent demonstrators were mercilessly lynched in broad day light as if anarchy prevailed in Mussouri. As a result, the news spread like wild fire and the movement gained tremendous momentum at Pauri where hundreds of thousands of Uttarakhand activists demonstrated at the district magistrate’s office and courted arrest. Hundreds of activists were lathi-charged and put behind bars. It was Mussouri’s lynching that later on gave Uttarakhand movement a national character finally leading to the fulfilment of the Separate Uttarakhand demand on 9th November 2000. But sadly after the sacrifice of Belamati Chouhan, Hansa Dhanai, Balbir Singh and three others and those martyred at Khatima, Dehradun and Mujaffar Nagar Rampur tri-junction on 2nd October 1994,  Uttarakhand has not fulfilled the aspirations and expectations of those who’d sacrificed their precious lives for achieving separate statehood. Eight chief ministers in merely 17 years and the state witnessing more than thirty lakh villagers migrating to cities, towns and metropolises for want of jobs, health and educational options and facilities. State literally sold out to liquor, land and mining mafias. Politicians filling their bellies’ with wealth. Nepotism at its peak and corruption taking the front seat. Women, youths in total disarray. State in a fiscal deficit of 37 thousand crores and politics of Aaya Ram Gaya Ram gaining ground than resolving core issue of peoples’ concern.

People of the state while extending their most revered heartfelt tributes to these brave and courageous martyrs wonder what did they really achieved after so much of sacrifices? Corruption, politician, liquor, mining  mafia and thekedar nexus, a huge fiscal deficit state bereft of employment opportunities, lacking health and job avenues, locks in 2 lakh village houses, Uttarakhand with 32 lakh migrations and closure of more than three thousand village houses finally pronouncing it an UTTARAKHAND OF RICH POLITICIANS CONFINED TO LOOK AFTER THE INTERESTS OF THE PLAINS NOT THE VILLAGES. What do you say, friends?