Did the twelfth century Kashmiri queen Didda fight Mehmood of Ghazni? Historians say it never happened. Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut says that it is the plot of her new movie.
The historians in Kashmir are rubbishing the plot of one of Bollywood’s controversial actor and Hindu right-wing activist Ranaut’s new movie plot as fictional and not based on historical facts.
In a tweet, the actor defined her role in the new movie as that of Didda and claimed that it will show her defeating the Ghaznavid empire’s founder.
“Our India has been witness to the story of many bravehearts like Rani of Jhansi. Another such untold heroic story is that of a queen of Kashmir, who defeated Mahmud Ghaznavi not once but twice. Are getting @KamalJain_TheKJ and me,#ManikarnikaReturns : The Legend of Didda,” Ranaut said in the tweet.
The historians in Kashmir, however, question Ranuat and say that Didda never had an encounter with Mehmood of Ghazni.
Mehmood of Ghanzi, also known as Mehmood Ghaznavi, made seventeen invasions of India with the first large-scale campaign in the year 1001 and the last in 1026. His attempt to enter Kashmir, however, was scuttled by the mountainous geography of the region.
“During the time she (Didda) was in power, there was no encounter with any outside ruler,” said Mohammad Ashraf Wani, a former professor in the Department of History at the University of Kashmir.
Didda died in 1003.
Wani said Didda’s successor Sangram Raj had sent an army to aid the defense of a north Indian princedom in 1003 but was overwhelmed by the size of Ghaznavi’s army.
“He (Ghaznavi) never entered Kashmir. He might have made some attempts but because of geographical hazards, he could not make it. Therefore, there was no question of besieging anyone,” Wani said.
Indian mainstream movies, often referred to as Bollywood, have had a bad experience with making historically accurate films.
“Bollywood movies can’t be trusted, they can do any wonder,” said another history professor, who requested not to be named.
He said Ghaznavi attacked India twenty times and none of the powerful Indian monarchs and princes could stop him. “She was not in a position to defeat such a huge army in her rule,” he said. “This movie is simply a historical distortion and nothing else.”
“Didda has been very controversial though she was very powerful. She killed her family members, grandsons to occupy the throne herself. History is something different and a movie is something different. The so-called fiction that they are making is distorting reality,” he said.