Let us continue our quest to review Hindi TV Serial Bharat Ek Khoj which is a magnum opus of Shyam Benegal. While you may find some of the stuff controversial but remember that the serial is a dramatized version of Discovery of India, a book penned by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
This episode explores the time when Shah Jahan was still the ruler of Mughal Empire established by Babar and strengthen by Akbar. His rule was on decline due to his age. Shah Jahan had fours sons, Dara Shikoh, Suja, Murad and Aurangzeb. Dara was the crown prince and the next ruler in the chronology. However the history took some turns and eventually Aurangzeb has overtaken the throne. This episode explores the first segment where we see the circumstance and incidents which lead to Aurangzeb’s rule. We don’t see Aurangzeb getting throned in this episode, that will be explored in the next one.
Power is one one of the deadliest and possibly the strongest addiction. If we check history, we often see brother killing a brother in order to acquire a powerful position. And, when we talk about a throne of an empire which is well spread in furtile land of India (that is Bharat), it is more than obvious. Babar lead the Mughals to India and eventually find this land the best place to live in. They settled down here. Then came Humayun who ruled comparatively well. Humayun’s son Akbar is considered as one of the finest rulers. He implemented many reforms and spread the boundaries of the kingdom making it an empire.
When you compare him with Akbar, Jahangir was not as capable as him, as a ruler. But his time was moderately good. The initial segment of Shah Jahan’s rule was also comparatively good. But, eventually, the power started corrupting the soul, and till the end of Shah Jahan’s life, the corruption and internal rivalry started raising.
Dara Shikoh, the crown prince and next possible ruler, declared by Shah Jahan, was a detached soul. The search of knowledge and meaning of life attracted him more than the power. Incidentally, he used to explore the scriptures from all religions and was fond of ancient Hindu literature. He was responsible for studying and converting Upanishads into Farsi (aka Persian). He had no intentions of acquiring the throne and being the next emperor. But, he was dedicated to his father, and was ready to do anything which his duty demand from him.
Aurangzeb was one of the most capable administrator among them, though he was very strict and rigid in his way of thinking and administration both. You can say he was quite opposite in persona than that of Akbar.
We see that Shah Jahan was critically ill and thus Dara Shikoh was called back from his religous gatherings. Shah Jahan’s situation was quite critical and his kidneys were not functioning as expected. Suja and Murad was at Ahmedabad and Bengal and Aurangzeb was near to Dakkhan. Some of the political decisions taken by Dara Shikoh was not liked by Aurangzeb, and as we know, there are always a set of people around such prominent figures.
We see that how various decisions taken by the brothers eventually make them stand against each other. We also see in this episode the way the politics is being played within the palace. The helplessness of Shah Jahan is quite visible in this episode.
The episode is good in content, especially for those who want to learn something from the history. Some of the things which I’ve already mentioned earlier should not be repeated here, but one lesson we should not forget “the power corrupts the soul”.
Also, the political advisers should advise in the interest of the public, the citizens, the common people who make the state or kingdom or the country. If the countrymen’s interest is not taken care of, then what is the purpose of the administrative system? We have had a history where it was a document rule that the ruler must consider himself an object to serve the people. His personal interest should come last, and we have some of the greatest epics exploring it.
Aurangzeb did a lot of things which are quite opposite to what Akbar did, the makers represent the fact, and, at the same time they also mention that he was possibly the best administrator amongst the four brothers. Actually, Dara Shikoh’s character mentions it in a conversation quite interestingly. Dara Shikoh was probably one of the most genuine Mughal prince, who didn’t get the due credit and exposure he deserved. The intelligent conversation between a sage and Dara Shikoh must not be missed. To know more about him, you can follow the below given links:
- Reviews For Episode 5 Of Upanishad Ganga | Hindi TV Serial On DVD
- Reviews For Episode 6 Of Upanishad Ganga | Hindi TV Serial On DVD
Here are some of the interesting dialogs we found in this episode. They should give you the better idea of the quality of content to expect.
हर रात के नसीब में एक सबेरा होता है!
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हर लालची ईमानदार का दुश्मन होता है , हर एक झूठा सच्चे का दुश्मन होता है और हर एक नमकहराम वफादार का दुश्मन होता है!
In addition to the content, the acting of the primary actors is another positive attribute of this episode. Be it Om Puri as Aurangzeb, Sudhir Dalvi as Shah Jahan, Surekha Sikri as Jahan Ara, Ahmed Khan as Aquil Khan, Devendra Malhotra as Baba Lals Shah, Surendra Pal as Dara Shikoh, Ved Thapar as Shahbaz Khan, Sohaila Kapur Limaye as Roshan Ara, Shiv Sharma as Murad, Irfana Joshi as Mallika, they all tried playing their roles with honesty. Some of them got large screen time then the others, of course. So, Om Puri stands out in that terms. It is actually, Sudhir Dalvi who steals the clap in the role of Shah Jahan. He shows authority and helplessness altogether quite convincingly.
The way the locales are chosen and the wardrobe is finalised is something worth to pay attention towards. It proves that even in tight budget you can have something significant, if you have a vision and sense of art. Also, the way the horses are projected, is simply superb. Those scenes are adrenaline pumping. And, the background music adds to the positives of the episode.
Overall, a genuine attempt to look at the history through the eyes of a book penned by one of the most significant Indian leaders of his days. Despite of having technical and financial limitations the quality of art and talent makes this episode significant.
Over To You:
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.
»Reviews for all the episodes of this TV Serial