We watched Padmavati last night (I have a longer post on that) but I thought I would share this funny story.
I was reading up on the history of the Chittor Fort (where Padmavati is centred):
Beginning in the 7th century, the fort was controlled by the Mewar Kingdom. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the fort was ruled by Paramara dynasty. In 1303, the Turkic ruler of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji defeated Rana Ratan Singh’s forces at the fort. In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, defeated Bikramjeet Singh and took the fort. In 1567 Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II‘s troops. The fort’s defenders sallied forth to charge the attacking enemy but yet were not able to succeed. Following these defeats, the women are said to have committed jauhar or mass self-immolation. The rulers, soldiers, noblewomen and commoners considered death preferable to the dishonor of surrender.
I made the slightly off-colour joke to my wife that Jauhar seemed to be the best strategy of Chittor.
Her immediate quip back: “in the 13th century Hindu women were commuting Jauhar, in the 20th century Muslim men are committing Jihad so you tell me Zach which culture is more advanced?”