Bharat Ek Khoj—The Discovery of India A Production of Doordarshan, the Government of India’s Public Service Broadcaster Episode 32: Akbar, Part I With Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Akbar, Virendra Sexena as Birbal, Harish Patel as Todar Mai, Rajesh Vivek as Sheikh Mubarak, Pankaj Berry as Abul Fazai, Irfan Khan as Badayuni, Puneet Issar as Rana Pratap, S.P. Dubey as Abdul-Nabi, Surendar Pal as Man Singh, Arun Bakshi as Atga Khan, and Ayub Khan as Munim Khan. As Nehru noted, Babur died within four years of his coming to India and much of his time was spent in fighting and laying out a splendid capital in Agra. Hankering for Central Asia, Babur had won an empire in India; scorning Central Asia, Humayun lost the whole empire in India. Humayun encountered Sher Shah Suri, a well-prepared Afghan contender for sovereignty and, in the ensuing tussle in 1540 near Kanauj, he barely escaped with his life, but the Mughal troops were decimated. Humayun became a fugitive. The enthroned Sher Shah Suri had a short reign, installing energetic administrative reforms with excellent roads, horse-backed postal systems and stylised monuments. His remarkable reign came to an end in 1545 with his death. By 1555, Humayun reclaimed Delhi, but stumbled to his death next year. His son Akbar, barely 13, came out of the seraglio where he was under protection of uncle Bayram Khan, as regent, and reigned from 1556-1605. Drawing from Abul-Fazl’s imperial memoir Akbar-Nama, we see scenes of market prices being controlled (with Akbar intervening incognito). The young king proceeds to marry Jodhabai, the Rajput princess of Amber, and abolishes the discriminating Jaziya tax on the Hindus. As Nehru observes, Akbar surrounds himself with a group of brilliant men devoted to him and his ideals among whom are famous brothers Abul-Fazl and Fyzee, humorist Birbal, the trusted Rajput Raja Man Singh and the valiant general Abdul Rahim Khankhana. But the quarrel continues with the orthodox Ulemma, to whom the Sufi saint Sheikh Mubarak is hauled up. While most Rajput chiefs are amalgamated in the imperial system of broad-based Omrah (nobility), Rana Udai Singh of Mewar, and his valorous son Pratap Singh, prove recalcitrant, notwithstanding Man Singh’s honest persuasions. Akbar lays a punitive siege of Chittor, but despite the defeat at Haldighat, and flight of Udai Singh and Pratap Sigh to sanctuary in the hills Chittor is never re-occupied. As Nehru states, his royal court became a meeting place, almost an Ibadatkhana (prayer-hall), every Friday, for men of all faiths and those who had new ideas or inventions. His tolerance of views and his encouragement of all kinds of beliefs and opinions, including Sufism, angered some of the more orthodox Muslims like the Sayyads. Included in Akbar’s theological forays are, as we find, Portuguese priests. In 1580, the padres hastened from Goa confident of the most sensational conversion of all times! In the event, they are disappointed as were all other disputants. Akbar’s quest for spiritual enlightenment was to seek a faith that would satisfy the needs of his realm as well as his conscience. As a result, he came up with a new religious order Din-E-Ilahi. The cultural amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim in north India took a giant step forward, with Akbar as popular with the Hindus as with the Muslims. Producer Doordarshan Language Hindi Credits Uploaded by Public.Resource.Org Based on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India With Roshan Seth as Jawaharlal Nehru Om Puri as the Narrator Produced and Directed by Shyam Benegal Chief Assistant Director was Mandeep Kakkar Executive Producer Raj Plus Script by Shama Zaldi and Sunil Shanbag A production of Doordarshan
Bharat Ek Khoj—The Discovery of India A Production of Doordarshan, the Government of India’s Public Service Broadcaster Episode 33: Akbar, Part II With Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Akbar, Ila Arun as Jodhabai, Vijay Arora as Salim, Pankaj Berry as Abul Fazal, Vinod Rathod as Tansen, Surendar Pal as Man Singh, Aparajita as Salima, and Ranajay Bahadur as Azeez Koka. Nehru mentions that Babur is an attractive person, bold and adventurous, fond of art and literature. Akbar, his grandson, is even more adventurous and had greater qualities, daring and reckless, an able general, and yet gentle and compassionate, an idealist and a dreamer, but also a man of action and a leader of men who roused passionate loyalty in his followers. No wonder, he had a brilliant reign, under which the Mughal Empire flourished the most. In the ensuing drama, we see Akbar in the sunset years of his life, missing some of his intimate courtiers like Birbal. He diverts his mind by listening to Mian Tansen extolling raga Mian-ki Malhar. He suddenly takes ill and poisoning is suspected, as Akbar’s many conquests are now overshadowed by rivalry and rebellion. In Salim’s camp, the prince is reluctant to quell the unrest in Bengal, despite Raja Man Singh’s exhortation. Instead, he proceeds to Allahabad to be near Agra, the seat of power. Akbar is surprised at this move and also worried about the unrest in Ahmadnagar. He sends Abdur Rahim there to support prince Murad. The unconcerned Murad is immersed in wine and alcohol, and Akbar tries to retrieve the situation by calling him back. Akbar is seen enjoying Tansen’s rendering of raga Jai Jaiwanti when he hears the news of Murad’s demise, brought by Abul-Fazl from Deccan. The bereaved king seeks solace from queen Jodhabai by presenting her a portrait of Murad. At the cost of enraging Akbar, Salim proceeds to Agra with a large army and, in a blatant assumption of Indian sovereignty, has his own genealogy inscribed on an Ashoka pillar, Abul-Fazl, sent to deal with the prince, is murdered. Akbar receives the sad news while listening to Tansen’s soothing raga Darbari Kanada. While Jodhabai remonstrates with him to control Salim, the latter’s rare encounter with the father results in Salim getting resoundingly slapped and being interned. Akbar’s extra indulgence for his eldest grandson Khusrau over Salim’s head gets unstuck and there is no counting on the third son Daniyal either. Salim furtively resorts to alcoholism again. The rest is painfully brief, with a critically-ill Akbar breathing his last, while hearing Tansen’s raga Bhairavi in the background and a joyous Salim assuming the throne. The visuals capture the panorama of Akbar’s monumental architecture of Fatehpur Sikri and Buland Darwaza. Nehru concludes that Akbar, in his long reign from 1556-1605, had erected edifices that lasted for another 100 years, in spite of inadequate successors. Producer Doordarshan Language Hindi Credits Uploaded by Public.Resource.Org Based on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India With Roshan Seth as Jawaharlal Nehru Om Puri as the Narrator Produced and Directed by Shyam Benegal Chief Assistant Director was Mandeep Kakkar Executive Producer Raj Plus Script by Shama Zaldi and Sunil Shanbag A production of Doordarshan
Bharat Ek Khoj—The Discovery of India A Production of Doordarshan, the Government of India’s Public Service Broadcaster Episode 31: Rana Sanga, Ibrahim Lodi and Babur With Lalit Tiwari as Babur, Anang Desai as Ibrahim Lodi, Ravi Jhankal as Rana Sanga, Devendra Malhotra as Ajjaji, Surender Sharma as Dilawar Khan, Mahendra Raghuvanshi as Makan, Navtej Hundal as Tardi Beg, Ashok Banthia as Prithviraj, and Adil Rana as Miyan Kakkar. Playback by Murlidhar and Jasvinder Singh. Songs composed by Kuldip Singh. As Nehru observes, while Vijaynagar was flourishing in the south and the petty sultanates reigned in Delhi in the 14th and 15th centuries, there were individual strongholds of Orissa, Bengal and Awadh in the east, and Gujarat, Malwa and Rajasthan in the west. In the and Babur north, however, the Turkish, Afghan and Moghul conquests resulted in rapid development of India’s contacts with Central and Western Asia. Babur, a prince of the Timurind line, established himself on the throne of Delhi in 1526 and his frank diary Babur-Nama remains a graphic guide to his tempestuous times in India. Under Rana Kumbha of Mewar, the great plateau of capital Chittor was fortified. Drawing upon James Tod’s Annal and Antiquities of Rajasthan, the curtain opens on Mewar where the princes Prithviraj, Jaimal and Sangram Singha (later Rana Sanga), sons of King Raimal, are seen heading for a remote-dwelling Yogin to foretell their royal destiny. With the prophecy favouring Rana Sanga, the braggart Prithviraj eliminates Jaimal and attacks and injures Rana Sanga. Prithviraj is consequently banished from the kingdom, yielding the throne to Rana Sanga. Even with a single hand and a single leg, Rana Sanga is fiercely patriotic and contemplates power beyond Ibrahim Lodi in Delhi by inviting Babur. Babur, on receiving the missive from Rana Sanga, launches his successful bid in 1525 with a highly mobile force and with the new gunpowder technology. There have been terminal rivalries after the death of the powerful king Sikander Lodi, amidst his son and successor Ibrahim Lodi in Delhi and his sibling in Jaunpur. In 1526, Babur’s army meets Ibrahim Lodi’s troops with the latter’s advantage of 10:1 at Panipat and wins through a superior strategy by attacking on the two flanks as well as from behind, turning the enemy’s bulk into his disadvantage. Rana Sanga, who had encouraged Babur to invade, simply hoped for a Lodi rout and then a Mughal withdrawal, leaving the coast clear for his own ambitions. As the song of Guru Nanak conveys, Babur’s final coming to India was a matter of moral degradation for India. He moves out to give battle, amidst unfavourable soothsaying, defection of forts and a desertion of Indian recruits. He turns on the Rajputs, though much superior in number, at Khanua and has a fiercely-contested fight, relying, on semi-fortified arrangement of ditches and chained carts interspersed with artillery and matchlock-men. According to Tod’s Annals, defeat results from treachery, making Sanga retreat and leaving the Mughals supreme in the heartland of North India. After winning his spurs at Panipat and Khanua, Babur sends Humayun, his favourite eldest son and designated heir, to Afghanistan. When told that Humayun is ill, he offers his own life and takes to bed, never to get up again. He is buried in his favourite garden in Kabul. Producer Doordarshan Language Hindi Credits Uploaded by Public.Resource.Org Based on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India With Roshan Seth as Jawaharlal Nehru Om Puri as the Narrator Produced and Directed by Shyam Benegal Chief Assistant Director was Mandeep Kakkar Executive Producer Raj Plus Script by Shama Zaldi and Sunil Shanbag A production of Doordarshan
Bharat Ek Khoj—The Discovery of India A Production of Doordarshan, the Government of India’s Public Service Broadcaster Episode 34: Golden Hind With Vijay Arora as Jehangir, Sudhir Kulkarni as Shanticlas, Charan Saluja as Tapidas, Siraj Khan as Hari Vaishya, Ashish Duggal as Qilij Khan, John Holyer as Thomas Roe, Jean Maneckjee as Admiral Saldana, and Mushtaq Khan as Asaf Khan. Nehru notes that in Jehangir and Shah Jahan’s time, the ‘Grand Moghuls’ were so well established that it attracted trade and commerce from far and wide - Iran, Iraq, Egypt and other outlying countries. Meanwhile, the Europeans also came to the western coast. From their port of Bassein, the Portuguese had acquired an adjacent trickle of islands (including Ban Bahia, or Bombay), which afforded good shelter for their shipping and, later on, extracting ‘protection money’ from the Indian merchants for letting their goods reach the Red Sea by affording naval security. During Jehangir‘s time, the British navy defeated the Portuguese in Indian seas and Sir Thomas Roe, an ambassador of James I of England, presented himself at court in 1615 and succeeded in getting permission to start ‘factories’: starting with Surat and then founding Madras in 1639. The drama unfolds these entangled trading phenomena. We find the Surat traders’ guild discussing seriously about their linkages with the Portuguese vis-a-vis the Ahmedabad traders who seem to be opposed to paying the ‘protection money’, and the emerging English naval power. They are unwilling to get involved with the warfare for the sea-power among the Europeans and wish to concentrate on trade by placating whosoever is in control of the high seas. When a particularly nefarious Portuguese agent is slain anonymously, the matters reach a head and the Portuguese obstruct the imperial merchandise. Shanti Das, the chief of the guild, gets panicky at this affront to the royalty and takes the matter to Agra, where he gets to know about the latest machinations of the English. While prince Khurram, in charge of the west coast, is afraid of enraging the well-entrenched Portuguese, Shanti Das’s guild, true to their business instincts, want to remain clear of the European power-conflict, as long as their merchandise of assuredly high quality reaches safe to the Red Sea ports. Roe‘s hobnobbing at Jehangir’s court is for nothing short of undisputed rights of passage against the Portuguese. Jehangir, in turn, is keen on getting good gifts like the English horses, although the perilous sea-journey could kill the bulk of the animals in transit. Presenting clear evidence of their superior naval power and offering supply of sophisticated weapons, Roe wins the day. Nehru comments that although the British now controlled the sea- routes and practically drove away the Portuguese (except for Goa), this bore no significance for the Mughal rulers or their advisers. When the Mughal Empire was visibly weakening during Aurangzeb’s reign, the British made an organised bid to increase their possessions by war in 1685, but were defeated. Even then, the overflowing energies of Europe were spreading out in India and the east, just when India’s political and economic condition was rapidly declining to forestall the new upsurge. Producer Doordarshan Language Hindi Credits Uploaded by Public.Resource.Org Based on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India With Roshan Seth as Jawaharlal Nehru Om Puri as the Narrator Produced and Directed by Shyam Benegal Chief Assistant Director was Mandeep Kakkar Executive Producer Raj Plus Script by Shama Zaldi and Sunil Shanbag A production of Doordarshan
Pratap's confession -- Pratap talks rudely with Shamskhan. Shamskhan insists Pratap to kneel down and apologize to him in front of his Father Rana Udaysingh. Shamskhan forces Rana Udaysingh to apologize to him. Shamskhan offers a deal to Rana Udaysingh. Rana Udaysingh challenges Shamskhan. Will Shamskhan accept Rana Udaysingh's challenge? Will Pratap get severe punishment? To find out, watch this breathtaking episode of Maharana Pratap. "Around 400 years back, with the might of their huge armies, foreign forces, one after another, were invading the Indian territories. Afghans, Turks and then the Mughals...all had one burning desire... establishing their control over a prosperous India. But even in these hard times, there was one province which gave a bold fight to these enemies... and that was the gleaming rajya of the Rajputs- Mewar! For the rajputs, no sacrifice weighed more importance than freedom. But despite this unprecedented courage, Mughal forces often dominated over the courageous Rajputs and it seemed the desires of these enemies would be fulfilled before long. In this troubled time, the soil of Mewar gave birth to its bravest son, Maharana Pratap who became an emblem for courage for the entire country. This is the story of a great warrior king, who in personal life is an ideal son to his father, a loving son to his step mother who hates him, a soothing leader to his people in their difficult times and trials. He is most surprisingly the man who only had love for his brothers, who in turn were either filled with jealousy, or hatred as they wanted themselves to be the rulers of Mewar. Many of these brothers went in the service of Akbar, but as history proves, his love would change his jealous brothers melodramatically in times of War. The story of Maharana Pratap is not just the story of king who was a great warrior and who lead the army of his kingdom to victory against the armies of another empire. The story of Maharana Pratap is also not the story of a Rajput prince, who got his throne as a birthright from his father and ruled their state as a king in comfort. This story is actually the journey of a boy Pratap, who much later would earn his title Maharana, through his own deeds and dedication. "