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Bajirao Mastani differences between the movie and reality

Bajirao Mastani differences between the reel & real life, are too broad to be ignored.

Peshwa_Baji_Rao_I_riding_horse

The movie portrays Mastani as a victim of religious bias, by the family & courtiers of Bajirao – a Hindu nationalist – a warrior and an administrator.

I do not deny that Bajirao’s family & courtiers never accepted Mastani as much as they opened arms to Kashibai (Bajirao’s patrani), but it is far from reality to show that Mastani was tortured to death by fundamentalism & orthodox radicalism of the Maratha Hindu Nationalists.

Not getting an equivalent status as that of Kashibai is one thing (this was the reality) but getting tortured to death just because of being a Muslim, is another thing totally (shown in movie).

10 Bajirao Mastani differences Differences between the movie and reality:

  1. Maharaja Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand had given his daughter Mastani to Bajirao in gratitude. Mastani did NOT rebelliously leave Bundelkhand in pursuit of her love for Bajirao.
  1. The movie shows that Mastani was Bajirao’s concubine who never attained the status of Bajirao’s wife but the fact is she was his lawfully wedded wife and Chhatrasal had also gifted a Diamond mine to Bajirao in marriage to Mastani along with handful of villages.
  1. The movie portrays Mastani as a lonely soul who was secluded from the Bajirao’s daily life activities, contrary to which she actually had vivid presence in the court proceedings and in the decision making process of the Peshwa.
  1. Mastani is believed to be a skilled horse-rider and a warrior. Local folklore also has it that she had accompanied Bajirao in many of his military missions, though the sources are pending verification. If true, then this proves that Mastani was NOT as much isolated from Bajirao as it is depicted in the movie.
  1. Yes, Bajirao’s family was intolerant to Mastani, but not to the degree that she wasn’t even allowed entry to Bajirao’s own palace (Shaniwar wada), as shown in the movie. Mastani lived for some time with Bajirao at his palace of Shaniwar Wada in the city of Pune. The palace’s north-east corner held Mastani Mahal. Had she not been a lawfully wedded wife, how could this have happened?
  1. Bajirao’s son Balaji (Nana saheb) had placed Mastani under house arrest for a time, while Bajirao was on military campaign. Mind you, a “House arrest” has a hell lot of difference from an “imprisonment”. That Mastani was tormented by Nanasaheb (son of Bajirao) & Chimmaji Appa (the brother of Bajirao) in a prison; is a blatant exaggeration.
  1. Bajirao did not die of war wounds, nor because of the pangs of separation from Mastani, forced upon him by his family. Bajirao was inspecting his lands at Khargon, he suddenly became ill from fever (possibly heat stroke) and died. Kashibai, Chimnaji Appa, Balaji (Nana saheb), AND Mastani (ALSO) came to Khargon at that time.
  1. Mastani did not die a painful death in chains as shown in the movie. She died within a few days of Bajirao’s death. It is unknown if she committed suicide or died of shock.
  1. In the movie, Chhatrasal (Mastani’s father) is seen citing example of Jodhabai’s marriage with Akbar to justify inter-religion marriage between Hindus & Muslims. However, there’s big difference between the marriage of Jodha-Akbar & that of Bajirao-Mastani:Mastani lived as a Muslim after marriage with a Hindu, she died as a Muslim too, hence she was buried. She was never converted.

    On the other hand, Jodha couldn’t continue to live as a Hindu after marriage. She died as a Muslim getting buried instead of getting consigned to flames.

  1. Mastan’s son Shamsher Bahadur (also named as Krishna rao) was NEVER snatched away from her forcefully by Nana Saheb. Only after Mastan’s death, Kashibai took Mastani’s six-year-old son into her household and raised him as one of her own son. Isn’t this a HUGE distortion of history? While Kashibai showed motherly sympathy for the Muslim son of the Muslim queen, the movie showed that the Marathas were so cruel that they even snatched away a 6 year old child from her mother.

It’s okay to show a romantic angle by adding elements like “Mastani was the messenger who persuaded Bajirao to come to the aid of Bundelkhand”. But it’s distortion of facts to show that Mastani was tortured to such an extent that she was chained, her son was snatched, she was barred from meeting Bajirao and all these led to her demise.

Being a Muslim was not the sole reason why the courtiers hated Mastani, it may have been the primary reason but not the ONLY reason. It was her growing influence over Bajirao & her involvement in Bajirao’s decision making that irked the jealous courtiers against her too.

To paint the entire society as cruel against Mastani for being a Muslim, in the name of adding “effects necessary for a commercial movie”, is plane distortion of history. Showing the benevolence of Kashibai who raised Shamshe Bahadur as her own son could also have added the “necessary effects” in this movie.

– Nishant Das ( Follow me on Facebook)

45 Comments

  1. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  2. noutati interesante si utile postate pe blogul dumneavoastra. dar ca si o paranteza , ce parere aveti de cazarea la particulari ?.

  3. Well written… Althought fact and figure should always be backed by right sources and links if possible, it is percieved nothing more than an opinion.

    • Thank you. I will see to it from now on. I will quote references in my forthcoming posts. As of now, the references are wikipedia & the other references that I have quoted as a reply to another comment here.

  4. I knew already. After watching the movie I googled it. But Thankyou for making it easier for others to know the truth of bajirao mastani in simple words. Hope people know the difference of a masala movie and reality.

  5. Dude you just quoted Bajirao’s whole wikipedia.

    • There’s a difference between quoting & analysing. Apparently, 4.7K people liked my “quoting”.

      • Yes whatever the facts “quoted”here is largely picked up from Wikipedia.read every thing after the release. Nothing new only have collated and put in pointers.Anyway good effort. But SLB made a movie not a documentary. If people want to see the facts they should see the documentaries rather than entertaining films.

      • Yes. If people “want” – is the key word here 🙂 My only worry is – 1. people don’t want to know beyond what is shown in a movie. & 2. renowned film makers like SLB should be responsible enough not to play with history, because 90% of the young generation takes movies as a source of knowledge. How many people know that Akbar was NOT a tolerant ruler, rather one who abolished many HINDU rituals & festivals ? How many know that Jodha was converted t Islam ? How many know that Akbar had 365 concubines & he had no special love for Jodha ?

  6. Can You Please provide me the Sources of Books where you got to know these differences..

    • Wikipedia & the references that it has provided allow us a good enough insight.

      Tribure India accessed 3 March 2008
      Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum: Bajirao and Mastani
      a b c Rajakelkar Museum accessed 3 March 2008
      Advance Study in the History of Modern India (Volume-1: 1707-1803) – G.S.Chhabra – Google Books. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
      How Bajirao’s Mastani united Hindus and Muslims after her death

      Jump up ^ Jaswant Lal Mehta (1 January 2005). Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-932705-54-6.
      THE MASTANI MYSTERY By MITALI PAREKH, Ahmedabad Mirror, 13 September 2015
      The Nawabs of Banda
      नवाब बांदा को राखी भेजकर रानी लक्ष्मीबाई ने मांगी थी मदद, Amar Ujala, 29 August 2015
      Mastani at the Internet Movie Database

  7. Movie showed Bajirav killed Bangesh. Not true. He defeated him comprehensively and Bangesh surrendered all hands up, waiting Bajirav to pronounce his death. But not sure due to order from Chhatrapati or not, Bajirav spared him and allowed him safe passage along with his concubine and bodyguards once he declared allegience to Marathas. The same Bangesh provided protection to Bajirav’s mother when she was on pilgrimage in North few years later. This he did with sense of gratitude for sparing his life.

  8. Thank god! This movie was not made by a Muslim film-maker.

    Otherwise, religious favouritism would have been a dragged topic in this discussion too.

  9. Wao I am so Glad some one made this effort to showcase this difference to people. My mind was tormented after seeing the movie that how could such a great patriot be so week minded. I agree that the love angle can be shown by diector’s choice but depicting his so week can give a negative impact on people about brave and courageous warriors.
    I am glad this difference is brought out to general public

    • I am glad too, that some people are able to understand my intention of writing this post, which was to bring out the wide factual differences. Full points to the director for his imaginations but he could have been more responsible. Freedom of expression is only upto the point till which the artist “decorates” his characters, the artist can’t misuse freedom of expression to mud sling his character by showing that Bajirao’s clan chained her, tortured her, took away her son etc etc.

  10. Dr Nivedita Ghosh

    January 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    The movie is not a documentary. ..it’s the Directors interpretation of the whole thing.

    Honestly we hv to keep the distortion aside as it’s a well made representation of the directors perspective.
    Just try and appreciate the brilliant visuals and detailing of the times.
    Just enjoy without analysing.
    Its a visual delighthe.

    • Actually, we are matured enough to keep the distortion aside, but 90% of the viewers (tender minds) would remeber Bajirao’s clan not for 41 war victories in his 39 years of life, but for moral-policing over Mastani. Had it been true that Mastani was turtured for being a half Muslim, I would still have been keeping the distortion aside, but having known how kind Kashibai was, to Mastan’s son, how the courtiers accepted the decision to grant Major Jagirs to shamsher when he grew up, I fee this distortion needed to come out in the open.

  11. hop sm-vn meq wis muvi Agen.
    hope someone make this movie again.

  12. Regardless of what Nanasaheb may or may not have done, he was the downfall of the Peshwas. His idiotic decisions (creating some creating a Peth named after his son because his wife was jealous of Peth being named after Sadishivrao Bhau, His naming of Sadashivrao as campaign head for Panipat battle instead of more experienced Rahunathrao because of lowest bid route (Raghunathrao apparently asked treasury to finance it while Sadashivrao presented a bid in which they can loot the kingdom over which they win tributes – this lead to several Rajput and other kingdoms resenting Marathas) and most of his stupidity to celebrate around in various places while moving his reserve army to help Sadashivrao – in the end Nanasaheb received news of his defeat and death of Vishwasrao, eldest son, while celebrating such stupid festivals…
    Despite whatever is shown in the movie, Nanasaheb was the downfall of Marathas through stupid decisions in his life time…

  13. The article has a lot of information, thank you for that.
    But, Guys Get over. Its after all a movie and lets appreciate its making.
    If you are so concerned, dont watch it.
    A movie cant be blamed for misleading your History, rather thank the makers. They actually educated many about the existence of Bajirao and Mastani. I Bet not many would know the history before this movie was launched.

    Appreciate Nishant for taking an effort !!

  14. it’s a movie to start with look the definition of movie it’s entertainment and it’s not to give u people a knowledge of bajirao real story.the director just use the concept but he Made it love story n that’s y the climax was like that.if people wanna know the real story go do some research. the director wasn’t trynna broaden ur mind about a patriot. people like u guys who arise the difference between Hindu Muslim all the time.people like u who brings differences society on the name of religion. there’s enough media out there to do this job leave it to them….bajiraomastani is a movie BASED on a true story. now use Wikipedia n understand what I wanna say.

  15. Yes the fact has been molded and added some spice to make the story more interesting. Moreover, they have already mentioned that the story is based on the Roa novel and not the reality. Then people should understand that this is not real story but the novel based story.

    It was a movie and most to whose it matters, have already googled and got the facts right.

    My personal take was, if this move has been made on only Bajirao and his battles and his life span then it would be been greatest hit of the time.

  16. Good points. I see that some of friends have mentioned that its just a movie and we shouldn’t think too much about the facts. But, we need to think indeed. The movies are the best way common people connect to the history. How many viewers will really go and check the facts if the movie really showed the truth? Only few percentage (mostly IT people who have easy access to internet). 90% of the viewers believe the history to be true as shown by the director. And if a director really wants to show the detailing , the art, the love story etc, then he/she can create fictional characters (and not real names) and do it. But if someone really wants to use the actual characters then there should be enough dedication to understand the facts before filling it with commercial elements (songs, dialogues, emotional attachment etc).

  17. on point number 9 u say something that jodha was Muslim by the time she died n stuff
    so in the movie they never said that she wasn’t one.
    as u said he was just citing example of jodha too got married in a different religion for political reasons
    n now mastaani for her own sake
    so point number 9 is baseless

  18. I does not understand Where are the Hindu Father( of Masthani ) relative. She live in Hindu way entire life then How and how she become a Muslim? The Media show the Masteni mother’s relative but not her father’s relative. Is it not a plane to defame Hindu society by so called bastered secular media (News channel as well as movies). Hindu should understand this poisonus plan of anti Hindu people.

  19. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Great work!

  20. Hi, I think the writer should backup his/her phrases with facts ,statistics and resources. It would have been more interesting to read this article.

  21. Good post. Keep it up.

    While historic events remain open to creative liberties, this movie appears to be a ridiculous stretch. Probably Bansali thought he could pull off a Mughal-E-Azam. Bollywood is very bad at making Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Superhero movies. This movie is a good example.

    Nevertheless I am happy to see that this movie has renewed the interest among youth to read more about Marathi history. This will have far greater positive impact that the distortion of facts Bhansali has engaged into.

  22. Great! After watching a movie even i qas thinking how bajirao such a great warrior could be so week minded person. I did some research in about bajirao and mastani. But thanks to you, you made it so easy for me. But are u sure khashibai was left alone during bajirao and mastani’s time. According to kings rule no king should hesitate to confess.

  23. Great! After watching a movie even i was thinking how bajirao such a great warrior could be so week minded person. I did some research about bajirao and mastani. But thanks to you, you made it so easy for me. But are u sure khashibai was left alone during bajirao and mastani’s time. According to kings rule no king should hesitate to confess.

    • Whenever a 3rd person enters the life of 2 people, a new space needs to be created. This space comes at the cost of parting attention of both of them.

  24. Very true. Just for the sake of making big bucks don’t screw history. Instead inspire from it and make a commercial film, screw your script as you feel like and give a good flavoured dish to audiences only to entertain them. THANK YOU SIR FOR MAKING PEOPLE KNOW THE FACTS.

  25. 1) If historians debate whether Mastani was Chatrasal’s daughter then I am not sure there is any truth to this argument. In my view director took the liberty and not necessesarily false.

    2) Movie shows that Bajirao gave Mastani wife’s status but not his family or society. Do we have a historical document says otherwise? If yes then why she was thrown away from Shaniwar wada?

    3) Again this argument depends on #2 as there is difference between Bajirao listening to her and she is having a (socially recognized) place in the court.

    4) Yes, and also historians believe that because Bajirao’s family didn’t accept her she had to move out of Shaniwar wada.

    6) Again interpretation of house arrest can be anything. Can I assume she was’t chained? Maybe!

    7) Movie doesn’t show that Bajirao was died due to injuries or separation from Mastani. It shows he missed Mastani in his last days.

    8) Refer to # 6. Also,, if historians don’t know how and when Mastani died then how anyone can say she didn’t die painfully. Looks like these differences between real and reel life are based on assumptions which are not reality.

    9) It’s debated if Mastani was Chatrasal’s daughter and even if she is no one knows what kind of discussion Chatrasal had with Rohani bai. So, it’s a waste of time talking on this one.

    10) Again no one know when Mastani died and when Kashi bai took Samasher bahadur.

    There is so little documented in the history about Mastani so Director has a lot of liberty. Unless there is a proof otherwise let’s not say Director is showing wrong.

    It’s ok for someone to say I don’t that happened but it’s just one’s opinion. Let’s not tempt to call it a reality unless there is supporting historical document!!!

  26. Looks like I missed #5. If they allowed her to his palace then why she was thrown out of Shaniwar wada. In fact some historians believe that Bajirao’s family couldn’t do her harm because she had Chatrapati Shahus’s support. Note – I am not saying it’s the truth. I am just saying some historians believe it. So, I don’t know if it’s true that Bajirao’s family tolerated her at all!

  27. One more thing is the Low light in which King Chhatrasal is shown. Raja Chhatrasal was inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and on his suggestion created a Hindu state in North. Moreover it is well known that as soon as MARATHA Court got letter from King Chhatrasal for help, Bajirao started for Bundelkhand as MARATHAS shared quite cordial relation with King Chhatrasal. I do agree that MARATHAS had been quite unfair to Rajputs but that has to do with their sliding towards Mughals.

  28. I wonder why Mr. Bhansali changed tbe story. The original events are as fascinating.He could have shown Mastani commiti g suicide after Bajirao’s death and Kashi taking care of Shamsher,he could have shown that Raja Chatrasal had given Mastani to Bajiro. What was the problem? I really like the movie but I am mature enough to understand that it was a work of fiction but many of my frienda took it as a history lesson and that is why it is wrong. My opinion is that more than Mr.Bhansali it is the audiences ignorance that is a problem. People don’t know their history. Atleast they can google a few facts but still they don’t. Well the movie was made well and they did have a long disclaimare at the beginning that it is a work of fiction. I just hope that people understand that and read the real history.
    P.S. very informative article. I wished you had not given it a religious color.

  29. Hi there, I check your blog on a regular basis.
    Your humoristic style is awesome, keep up the good work!

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