Descendants of Padmaavat's original author seek royalty

Descendants of Padmaavat's original author seek royalty

Amid the cries from the Rajput outfits to ban screening of 'Padmaavat', the descendants of Malik Mohammad Jaisi, the sufi poet, who authored the epic with the same title in 1540, have accused Sanjay Leela Bhansali of ''stealing'' the story and have demanded royalty.

The descendants of Jaisi, who hailed from a small town Jais in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi district, were also contemplating to move the court if their demand was not conceded.

''Bhansali had said after the protests that the film was not not based on historical facts but was based on the epic Padmavat....it is quite clear that he stole the story without taking our prior consent,'' said Mohammad Nizam Khan, one of the descendants of Jaisi.

Speaking to Deccan Herald over phone from Jais, Khan said that the producers of the movie must part with a share of the income for the ''development'' of Jais and renovation of Jaisi Research Institute in the town besides Jaisi's descendants.

''Jaisi's ancestral house has almost disappeared....only the boundary walls remain...the building of the Research Institute after him is also in a very bad shape....the money can be used for their renovation and maintenance,'' Khan said.

He said that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who represented Amethi Lok Sabha seat, had established the Institute and declared Jaisi's house a monument.

Khan said that the people of the town had no ''problems'' with the film. The descendants plan to see the movie as and when it was screened at the nearest cinema hall in Raebareli town, about 30 kilometres away.

''After all the film is not historical...it is based on the story of Padmavat,'' he remarked.

Malik Muhammad Jaisi, who died in 1542), was an Indian Sufi poet and pir (a Muslim saint or holy man). He wrote in the 'Awadhi' language, and originally in the Persian 'Nasta' script. His most notable work is the epic poem 'Padmavat'.

Jaisi, who belonged to the 'Bhakti Kal' (period) of Hindi literature, is known for promoting communal amity and love.

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