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Padmavati controversy erupts at Mars-Pluto square

Pluto abducting Persephone

The anguish of Rajasthan’s Rajputs arises from a deep complex they have about their past, manifest in the movement to have Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati banned. The movement has already received a boost — the release of the film has been postponed. Their complex will only be reinforced further.
The complex of Rajputs arises from Hindutva’s perspective on history — largely influenced by British colonial historians — which teaches people that India had a glorious past until the Muslims and the British conquered it. This has unwittingly turned the past into an undeniable saga of Rajput royal families failing in their duty to protect the interests of their subjects, a duty traditionally enjoined on them because of their Kshatriya status.
The ensuing inferiority complex should have been of the erstwhile royalty alone, but such is the pull of caste identity that even ordinary Rajputs have embraced the psychological bruises of the elite as their very own. They need not have, for the elite’s decisions weren’t based on the consent of ordinary Rajputs.

Padmavati is an upcoming Indian epic period drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, based on the epic poem Padmavat (1540) by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Initially scheduled for release on 1 December 2017, the film has been indefinitely postponed following numerous controversies [1]. The Padmavati controversy took an ugly turn on Nov. 16  when a fringe Rajasthan group called the Karni Sena threatened actor Deepika Padukone of physical harm. This is around the time that a Mars-Pluto square started to move towards its exactness on Nov.19. Mars signifies the warrior archetype. Pluto signifies issues of power and control. Squares signify fractious interactions. And when the clash is between Mars and Pluto, even the air becomes cruel and brutal. From a personal perspective, this combination indicates harsh attitudes aimed at yourself or at others. From a collective perspective, this Mars/Pluto square can also indicate increased violence—everywhere.

In Roman mythology, Pluto was the god of the underworld who abducts the beautiful Persephone and ravishes her.   Padmavati is an epic Indian story that has parallels to the Pluto myth. 

A chart for the Mars-Pluto square at Delhi is shown here. Pluto occupies the mundane eighth house while Mars is in the fifth. Both the planets make hard aspects to the Ascendant [3ge].

Pluto  and the 8th house  holds our deepest, darkest fears and complexes [2] and it is related to those things that are locked down below, hidden in the recesses of  the nation’s mind and that need some form of release. Pluto is the signification of the things that torture us, seduce, and threaten to tear us to pieces. It signifies our neuroses and collective psychic conflicts. With Pluto here we need to confront and exorcise those demons that lie in the nation’s psyche. Often these are  times of violent behavior and sudden explosive outbursts.

Mars is in  the 5th house which rules films and drama and any form of creative expression.[3]

The square between Mars and Pluto from the 5th to the 8th house therefore creates a crisis where a film dealing with a historically sensitive topic is met with anger as it touches a subject that is taboo for the Rajput community.

A thousand years ago, Rajput kings ruled much of North India. Then they lost to Ghazni, lost to Ghuri, lost to Khilji, lost to Babur, lost to Akbar, lost to the Marathas, and keeled over before the British. The Marathas and Brits hardly count since the Rajputs were a spent force by the time Akbar was done with them. Having been confined to an arid part of the subcontinent by the early Sultans, they were reduced to vassals by the Mughals. The three most famous Rajput heroes not only took a beating in crucial engagements, but also retreated from the field of battle. Prithviraj Chauhan was captured while bolting and executed after the second battle of Tarain in 1192 CE, while Rana Sanga got away after losing to Babur at Khanua in 1527, as did Rana Pratap after the battle of Haldighati in 1576. To compensate for, or explain away, these debacles, the bards of Rajputana replaced history with legend.

Finally, we note that the Sabian symbol [4] for Mars in the 5th house explains what is really at stake especially for the filmmaker.

Phase 198: Two men under arrest
When individuals try to reform an established order they may be punished by that order.  For individuals the challenge is how to make their transforming vision acceptable to society. The fact that two men are under arrest suggests a polarization and a purpose transcending a mere fit of recklessness. Negative as the image may seem, one may see implied in it the power in every individual to assume social risks in order to express his convictions even if he has to face the consequences. (edited from Dane Rudhyar)


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