The Conquest of Chittaur: The <i>Padmāvat</i>, Part 2

Aditya Behl

in Love's Subtle Magic

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195146707
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199978878 | DOI:
The Conquest of Chittaur: The Padmāvat, Part 2

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This chapter examines this transformation of selves and others through the controversial ending of the Padm ā vat, which thematizes the conquest of Chittaur by 'Alāuddīn Khaljī and the death of the lovely queen Padminī or Padmāvatī on a funeral pyre. Jāyasī brings his story to a conclusion by invoking the stereotypic narratives of the Turkish conquest of Hindustan, yet he valorizes the Sufis as the brave Rajput defenders of the land. In the conflict of might versus right, the women are sacrificed on a funeral pyre, a symbol for mystical annihilation. The chapter compares Jāyasī's ending with prior narratives of the conquest of India: a story of the Scythian conquest of India popular among Jains in the sultanate period, a Persian verse romance by Amīr Khusrau, and an Apabhramś a text from one of the Rajput kingdoms that fell to the superior cavalry and military might of the Turkish army of Delhi. These texts interweave conquest and romance, spelling out a wider cultural politics in which possession, rejection, or sacrifice of women marked the negotiations of opposed ideologies and notions of male honor.

Keywords: Hindavī Sufi romances; Chittaur; Turkish conquest; Sufis; women; sacrifice; funeral pyre; India

Chapter.  18017 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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