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JODHAA AKBAR: history trivialized or put to question

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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view JODHAA AKBAR movie stills

Rajasthan has decided to ban JODHAA AKBAR as it is supposedly trivializing the history. A controversy has been created around the film by questioning the interpretation of the character of Jodhaa as it has been done in the film, which supposedly goes against the established belief. It has hurt the sensibilities of Rajputs.

The moot point about the controversy is that when the historians themselves are not in a position to have a consensus on various issues and provide their own interpretation couched in the garb of a new research as a new dimension to an issue, then why can a film not have a creative liberty to do the same?

When MUGHAL-E-AZAM was released it was the time when the sectarian feelings were very strong and even then the film was not opposed on the grounds on which it is being opposed now. History is after all reflection of a popular sentiment and as Francois Truffaunt one of the wizards of cinema has said, "History should reflect in films", what Ashutosh Gowarikar is highlighting through JODHAA AKBAR is the role that a husband-wife team had even in Mughal times in running the state of affairs of the country and in conducting the strategies. For that matter RAZIA SULTAN had also taken creative liberty and interpreted the role of Razia as it was in the folklore, a perception which was against the ground realities.

As the tag line for JODHAA AKBAR goes, in the beginning itself a disclaimer has been put by the makers of the film that it is a work of fiction. As Tom Gunning, a film critic had written about the films "…fictional films serve as the historical evidence in the same way as other representative art forms do…a form of mass visual entertainment, films reflect social attitude in a specific and vivid manner…" This is what has been the guiding spirit in making of JODHAA AKBAR.

Creativity if it starts getting road blocks in the form of protests done by hitherto unknown outfits, which use these occasions to get publicized at the national level, would start getting stifled. As it is, India is quite far behind than other countries in taking a shot at the pieces of history and those who would be thinking of experimenting with this genre would think twice before proceeding further. Dissent has to exist but banning the source which is the point of dissent does not serve the purpose. Dissent can be tackled by discussion and then it helps in fostering of creativity. Banning the source of dissent is annihilation of creativity and encourages the elements of disgruntlement to resort to more such actions which harm the spirit of creativity. On first provocation ban should not be the first action, but should be used as the last resort.

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