Sati and Jauhar

It is reported that CBFC has decided to certify Padmavati UA after five modifications. One of them is to change the name to Padmavat. Another is to have a disclaimer stating the film does not subscribe to the practice of Sati or seek to glorify it.

There is difference between Sati and Jauhar. Sati is committed by widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Jauhar is committed by married women as a group when their husbands are alive. It is during war. It is done to avoid capture by enemies. There is no hope of winning the war and defeat is certain. After women die, men go to war and fight till death. Some say Jauhar was the prerogative of Rajput women while Sati was for all Hindu women. It does not seem all Hindu widows committed Sati. Some lived with heads shaven and clothes that identified as widows.

Padmavati or Padmini and other women committed Jauhar, not Sati. The disclaimer against Sati is meaningless. It is said three Jauhars took place in Chittor. One was during Padmavati’s time. Second one was during Karnavati’s time in 1535. Bahadur Shah had surrounded the fort. Third one was in 1568. Akbar killed Jaimal and conquered Chittor.

The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act bans glorification of Sati. There is no law that bans glorification of Jauhar.

Dropping the last letter to change the name of the film from Padmavati to Padmavat ostensibly because the film is based on poem Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi has led to some jokes. The film is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansal, starring Deepka Padukone, Shahd Kapur and Ranveer Sngh.

Updated: January 1, 2018 — 9:58 pm


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  1. ” The disclaimer against sati is meaningless” All such disclaimers are meaningless anyway. This is just history. It is not as if today women are dying on husbands pyres.
    Thanks however for providing the academic distinction between two terms.

  2. Two disclaimers of films are strange. One was on film on Mohammad Azharuddin. Second one was on film on Silk Smitha. I have not seen those films. I read reviews which mentioned disclaimers which said the films were works of fiction. Mohammad Azharuddin was on every channel giving interviews for the film. Ektaa Kapoor and Vidya Balan claimed Silk of Dirty Picture was not based on Silk Smitha. I understand producers put such disclaimers legal advice to avoid court cases.

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