At the heart of the Padmavati controversy is a British intelligence officer by the name of James Tod on whose account commissioned by the East India Company rests the entire debate.
James Tod’s work was aimed at diffusing this threat of a collective uprising from within by driving a wedge between the Rajputana and Mughal Kings and by extension the various Hindu denominations and Muslims. At the same time this Divide and Rule strategy was at play elsewhere in the Empire as well. Just as James Tod was projected as the savior of the Rajputana pride in India, another British intelligence officer Alexander Burnes was dispatched to Afghanistan from India via Kabul to Bokhara disguised as a Muslim to create a rift between Afghans and Russians. When the Afghans discovered Burnes true identity tipped off by the Russians, he was hacked to death with his head on a spike in the local bazaar. James Tod however got lucky.