As if the incomprehensible string of soap operas in ‘hindi serial genre’ brought in by Ms. Ekta Kapoor were not enough to depict a regressive and unseen version of Indian culture, the Indian television has stumbled upon a new genre/category of serials known as “Historical hindi serial” to further dramatize and stereotype mythical and historical facts and characters.
Trouble over intimate scenes – “Ek Veer Stree ki Kahaani Jhansi Ki Rani” (hindi serial case 1)
Portrayal of sex or intimate scenes has always been a cause of controversy for Indian movies and serials and showing sensuality with a character like “Rani Laxmibai” is synonymous to playing with fire. We all remember the infamous controversy and exile of painter M F hussain over his paintings like Naked Bharat Mata.
Several historians have raised questions over the legitimacy of certain events depicted in the series. They are content with the creative look and slight dramatization of events but rewriting history with bogus events is unacceptable to them.
Historical soap opera aka Fashion show – “Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat” (hindi serial case 2)
Life of Ashoka the great has been an inspiration for many due to all sorts of ingredients like gory wars, spiritual enlightenment, morality etc. No wonder several movie and TV serials have chosen to bring forth unknown details of the warrior’s life. “Asoka”, the movie starring Shahrukh khan, was another biopic with grandeur sets, impeccable cinematography and same old obsession with romanticism and sensuality.
The television series, “Chakravarti Ashoka Samrat”, has been in controversy since its inception due to numerous inaccuracies. The presence of Chanakya in Ashoka’s time itself raises doubts over the authenticity of sources used to write the script. The ripped physique of the child actor has been shown during a prolonged sequence of games being held to choose the heir apparent to the king.
Historical television series that disclaim history – “Jodha Akbar” (hindi serial case 3)
The negative characterization of Maham Anga and her ill behavior towards the Hindu women turns into a mocking re-establishment of Ekta Kapoor’s modus operandi for Saas bahu serials. Not only this, existing Rajput clans question the mere existence of Jodha bai as a historical character.
Portrayal of Chhatrapati Shivaji as religious and hindutva follower in “Veer Shivaji” (hindi serial case 4)
This television serial depicted Chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj as a religious leader, which was true to certain extent. However, the secular powers (certain political parties), didn’t like this characterization. The scene highlighting murder of Afzal Khan by Shivaji was especially disturbing for Muslim goodwill.
The serial also faced dissension from Hindu audience over certain derogatory scenes where Shivaji maharaj is filmed stealing bags of cereals.
Everything is wrong with this series – “Bharat ka Veer putra: Maharana Pratap” (hindi serial case 6)
The new series being aired on Sony is no match to the original series in terms of cast and acting. The former had veteran actors like Mukesh Khanna as “Rana sanga” and Vinod Khanna as “Pratap”. The events were not overly dramatized or stretched on for long.
In addition to the aforementioned frailties, the new series fell short on script and veracity of facts, which led to widespread protests from Rajput factions in Rajasthan. The series sketches a deep rivalry between Pratap and Akbar from an early age whereas historians claim that Pratap was not politically active at such early age and was living under the aegis of Udai Singh. Even Akbar didn’t have much time to concentrate solely on Maharana Pratap. Even the costume design and sets have been criticized for their semblance to some other culture and place.
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