Even with Padmaavat breaking box office records, it’s impossible to forget the controversies that came with it. Similarly, Kangana Ranaut’s upcoming film is the most recent project to come under the line of fire.
The much-awaited film, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, has been accused by protesting groups of distorting historical facts. The film is reportedly based on the novel Rani, authored by Jaishree Misra, which claims that the Queen of Jhansi had an affair with British officer Robert Ellis. The book was previously banned in 2008 by the then Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh government.
Sarva Brahman Mahasabha (SBM), an organization of the Brahmin community, claims that the period drama distorts history regarding the gallant freedom fighter and depicts a love affair between her and a British man.
“We learnt about it from our friends and acquaintances in various parts of Rajasthan where some scenes of the film are being shot. The film is based on a foreigner’s book and tries to dampen the queen’s reputation,” Suresh Mishra, president of SBM, is reported to has said at a press conference.
However, producer Kamal Jain has clarified that Manikarnika doesn’t portray anything offensive. “As responsible filmmakers, we have taken utmost care while portraying Rani Lakshmibai’s character and have consulted historians and scholars. Rani Lakshmibai was a freedom fighter and one of the most respected leaders our country has seen. She is a symbol of valour and the film’s story depicts the same,” he told India Today.
Manikarnika was set to release on 27 April 2018, but was then postponed to release in the summer.