boycott the movie "Jodhaa Akbar"

Date: 12 Feb 2008


Concerned NRI and Local Groups launch international campaign to boycott the movie "Jodhaa Akbar"

Concerned NRI and local groups from around the world have jointly launched the 'Boycott Jodhaa Akbar Campaign" and are categorically calling for a boycott of the movie "Jodhaa Akbar". The groups believe that the content of "Jodhaa Akbar" grossly distorts India's history and its concocted story is an odious, false, unjust and irreverent portrayal of a Hindu Rajput princess and a Muslim Moghul ruler.  They consider these distortions to be extremely insensitive and it hurts the sentiments of millions of people who love the culture, history and traditions of India. 
The Campaign points out that while this movie may be "fictional" in nature, it does not grant the director and the producers the right to make a public spectacle of the rich Indian culture and history that they love and cherish. A mere disclaimer of 30 seconds or so at the beginning of a movie rarely gets registered in the mind of the moviegoer. It is the main movie, its story and the events it depicts that leave a lasting imprint.
The supporters of the Campaign believe that the theme of "Jodhaa Akbar" poses the danger of sending a totally wrong message to our nation's highly impressionable younger generation. They feel that many unsuspecting viewers will take the film to be fact instead of fiction. 
" We feel that the movie is a blatant insult of our history and our pride and we shall not allow the filmmaker to distort history," said Lokendra Singh Kalvi, the leader of Rajasthan's Rajput Karni Sena. "We will continue to protest against the screening of the movie in Rajasthan," he added.
"Some people have asked whether even a Bollywood movie can seriously damage a culture of billion people. No, in the long run, it cannot. But that is not the point. The real concern of the Campaign is for each and every person," said Naresh Sharma of Global Institute for Truth & Awareness (GITA).
"If only one person were to come away with a distorted impression of India's history or our rich traditions, our concern is for that person as if he or she were the whole world".
Supporters of the Campaign stress that the depiction of romance between Akbar and "Jodhaa" prior to their marriage is a total concoction because based on historical records and contrary to what the film projects, nobody called "Jodhaa" has ever been associated with Jalaluddin, later called Akbar. In fact, there is no mention of "Jodhaa" in the historical records prepared by Akbar's own historian Abul Fazl.
The truth is that although one of Akbar's numerous wives was a Hindu Rajput princess, she was called Heerkunvar and not "Jodhaa". Heerkunvar was the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amer (Jaipur), and was married to Akbar as part of a political contract between Raja Bharmal and Akbar. On the day of the marriage Heerkunvar was converted to Islam and renamed Miriam Rehmani to make it a proper marriage under Islamic Law. Events show that there was hardly any love affair to precede Akbar's contracted marriage to Heerkunvar, as Akbar had not even met Heerkunvar before their marriage was solemnized! 
The Campaign points out that the history of the Moghul period under Akbar is replete with instances of very young women being forcefully captured by the invading armies, forced to convert to a strange and unknown religion, forced to marry men of alien culture and were forever condemned to endure the lifestyle of  polygamist husbands. And these women had no choice in bringing up their offspring in the religion of their choice. History states that Akbar had a harem of five thousand or so concubines at any given time. It was a disgusting a period in India's history. And to imagine that today an Indian film maker has revived memories of that perverse period by reenacting one of those forced marriages into a so-called "immortal love story" with fictional characters and fictional events! The Campaign sees this not only as an insult but a despicable and insensitive way to whitewash the suffering of India's women. 
The Campaign believes that the artists, director and the producers have all shamelessly chosen financial gains over a Nation's history, culture and civilization, and worst of all, the honor of the women of India and thousands of innocent men, women and children who perished under Akbar's command. They consider Akbar portrayal as a kind and romantic ruler in "Jodhaa Akbar" to be a direct insult to those brave Rajputs who gave their lives fighting the tyranny of Akbar's rule.

The Campaign supporters point out that people of good conscience have chosen to boycott "Jodhaa Akbar" and asking others to join in the boycott. Additionally, the Campaign calls on the Government of India to ban the movie.
Organisers of "Boycott Jodhaa Akbar Campaign" have asked concerned people from all over the world to write letters of protests to the following people by email:
Hon. Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India
Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India
Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Minister of Information and Broadcasting
Campaign Supporters
Global Institute for Truth & Awareness (GITA), USA
Hindi USA
Independent NRI Forum, USA
Indian American Intellectuals Forum, USA
Kashmir Task Force, USA
Mahtama Gandhi International Foundation, USA
Mauritius Movement
Rajput Association of North America, USA
Rajput Karni Sena, Rajasthan, India
Save Temples, USA

For more information contact:
Naresh Sharma
609 226 9702