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Protests against Jodhaa Akbar in Rajasthan
Onkar Singh in New Delhi

Aishwarya Rai as Jodhaa
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February 05, 2008 19:06 IST

Activists belonging to an outfit calling itself the Sri Rajput Karni Sena have protested against the screening of Jodhaa Akbar in Rajasthan.

"We shall not allow the filmmaker to distort history," said Lokendra Singh Kalvi, a leader of the outfit, at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

According to him, none of Mughal emperor Akbar's 34 wives were named Jodhabai. Akbar married the former maharaja of Ajmer, Bharmal's elder daughter Karkbai alias Heer Kumar in Fatehpur Sikri on Feburary 6, 1562. Prince Salim was born in 1569.

"Jodhabai was the daughter of Moteraja Udai Singh and she would have been three years younger than Salim and hence, in no way could she have been his mother," Kalvi claimed.

According to these organisations, Jodha was the daughter of Udai Singh of Marwar and was married to Salim, Akbar's son.

"Thus, she was Akbar's daughter-in-law. So, depicting Jodha as Akbar's wife is not tolerable," Karni said.

He claimed that he had met Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priyarajan Das Munsi and the latter had assured him that the film would not be allowed to be released.

He also claimed five historians had worked on the subject and had come up with well researched documents that prove the film historically incorrect. Ain-e-Akbari (page 619), Akbarnama (page 212) and a National Council of Educational Research and Training's Class XI history book on medieval India by Professor Satish Chandra are amongst the books that were consulted by the experts, he said.

"The Rajasthan high court has passed an order and if necessary, we shall go to the Supreme Court of India and seek a ban. In any case, the producers are losing money on the Rajasthan territory where they have not been able to release their music. We will not allow Jodhaa Akbar to be screened in Rajasthan," Karni said.

He could not give us the names of the historians or produce the high court papers when the media asked him for a copy.

"I will send you copies of the CDs to reporters in Delhi," he said.

Rajput activists also burnt posters of Jodhaa Akbar in Rajasthan. At least 100 activists gathered outside the Rambagh Palace hotel in Jaipur -- where the Bachchans are celebrating Abhishek's birthday -- and shouted slogans against Aishwarya [Images] for playing the role of Jodhabai in the film, as well as against director Ashutosh Gowarikar.

Slogans like 'Jodha Akbar nahin chalega, band karo Jodha Akbar' and 'Amitabh (Bachchan) Aish ko samjhao, Aish ko Jodha mat banao' filled the air as the protestors burnt posters of the big budget film that also stars Hrithik Roshan [Images].

Kalvi said the protest was a symbolic one, since Amitabh was ill.

Jodhaa Akbar has faced heavy weather right from the time the crew landed on the outskirts of Jaipur in 2006, with the Rajputs saying it was historically incorrect and animal rights activists accusing Gowarikar of being cruel to horses used in some sequences.

With inputs from PTI

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