Episode #29 of Hindi TV Serial Bharat Ek Khoj is titled as Feudalism, and as the name suggest it explores Feudalism in Bharat (during the historical time) and compares it with the same in the other parts of the world.
The beginning of the episode itself starts with a commentary by Pt. Nehru (portrayed by Roshan Seth) where he explains the difference between the way the monarchy ruled in Bharat (that is India) and in Europe.
While in European countries, the monarchy was set up almost in the similar way as set up in India, the king was the final authoritarian. He enjoys almost complete power over everything fall in the boundary of his kingdom. While in Bharat, the king had the right only to collect taxes from the land and the revenue-collecting power. Be it his own kingdom or the small states which are independent but coming under his authority.
The common man needs to pay his dues to the authority appointed by the king to collect it, and he/she will pay it to the higher authority or king. So there is a hierarchy.
In order to explore how it was affecting and interfering lives of common people, it takes reference of Channabasava Nayaka, a Kannada Novel by Masti Venkatesha Iyenger, popularly known as Masti. Masti is a respected named in Kannada literature and Channabasava Nayaka explores the story of a couple whose lives were affected by political ruling. The landlord lady fixed Mallige‘s marriage to Javara (who needs consent of those who are getting married?). But Mallige is a bold woman, she loved Saguna, a landless labourer, and doesn’t hesitate to take him into confidence to raise an objection with the landlady.
The lady however was firm in her decision and Saguna was to give up. Mallige, however, took her to a religious and powerful figure and forced the lady to delay her marriage with Javara for six months. So, will the landlady approve Sanguna and Mallige’s marriage after six months? What if Saguna and Mallige will be unable to convince here and she won’t approve it after this grace period? It is better to explore on screen.
The episode also explores the incidents from Rama Raya’s life. After Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagar met with his death, again the issue of throne came forward. While Achyut Deva Raya was the successor of the throne, Rama Raya was also powerful. The power hungry figures in the management played their own politics to get rid of worthy opponents! Possibly, being too proud of the legacy received and overestimating one’s own power and underestimating the same of the opponent, resulted into the fall of Vijayanagar Empire. And the feudalism played a vital role in it. Again we leave you to explore the incidents by watching the episode.
While the book has its own essence, we cannot underestimate the efforts of script writers Shama Zaldi and Sunil Shanbag who wrote an interesting episode. The reference are taken from the literature as well as historical incidents to represent a nice historical fiction. And, it succeed in its aim to give the viewer the idea of the way people used to live those days and how the federal structure used to intervene.
Producer and director Shyam Benegal represented the things in appealing manner. He kept himself away from showing unrealistic splendor on screen. You will surely be mesmerized by the “cart race” scene, which was actually the introductory one for Mallige’s tale. The political incidents are explored quite effectively as well. So we can surely say that the captain of the ship is full in control.
Such good content and remarkable direction cannot work if the sets are wardrobe are not authentic. We see both these segments are in perfect conjunction here. Be it about the clothing or ornaments, the things are authentic and realistic. The background music adds to the positive of the episode. We must mention the effective dialogs found in this episode.
This episode breaks myth about feminism. While people these days relate it with skin show and adultery, feminism is about strong character, and Mallige’s character is the perfect example of that. Also the landlady’s character is quite interesting as well. Telling more about rest of the characters will lead to spoilers but I cannot stop myself from mentioning the Jungle scene where travellers considered Mallige a ghost and was buried in fears. It is one of the fun moments from this episode which you will surely enjoy.
And, if everything else is in place, but the acting is poor, no one can prevent the ship from sinking, right? Pallavi Joshi is a superb performer and she again proved her acting metal. Of course, Om Puri as a narrator, and Roshan Seth as Pt. Nehru requires a special mention. It is delight to watch Ila Arun as landlady Heggaditi. Siraj Khan plays his part convincingly as Saguna. Bhupendra Sandhu who plays Javara, didn’t get much scope, but he is believable. Salim Ghouse as Ramaraya, Ajay Kumar as Achyutadevaraya, Vijayan Nair as Pedda Tirumala, Vijay Rani Nair as Varadamba, Sudhir Kulkarni as Selappa requires a mention. Overall, the episode is good in terms of acting.
This episode proves that if you have good content to explore and have fantastic talents at your hand, the budget doesn’t make much difference. A good option to dive into the history of Bharat (that is India) for sure.
Did you watch this TV Serial? Are you going to buy it’s DVD Set? (It is available in two versions, economic edition and premium edition)? Do share your thoughts via comments below. And yes, if you like this article, don’t forget to share with your friends and loved ones on various social networks 🙂 And yes, watch out for next episode review for Bharat Ek Khoj.
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