Episode #39 of Hindi TV Serial Bharat Ek Khoj explores the rise of British power in India. It is thus rightfully tited as Company Bahadur.
When I was in school I used to hear that why should we need to learn history? And the situation is not changed. Most of us, at some point of in time, have felt that how does it matter to our day to day life knowing on what day a specific emperor was born or a specific war was fought? Well, history is actually one of the biggest teachers, but only if we want to learn something from it. It is a pure waste of time otherwise. Like everything else.
While imprisoned by British invaders, Pt. Nehru (who later became the first prime minister of independent India) utilized his time to pen down his thoughts, knowledge, and experiences, especially in the context of Bharat (aka India). The consolidated writing, later published as a book named “Discovery of India”. The book is critically acclaimed and was successful commercially as well. The intellectual respects the book even today.
Shyam Benegal made a TV Serial in Hindi based on the book and named it as – Bharat Ek Khoj. The TV serial is considered as one of the best TV Serials aired in India. So far we’ve talked about 38 episodes of this fantastic TV Serial and it feels good to talk about 39th episode. This episode explores a time when the British East India company started raising to the power. And, like a human entity was started being referred as “Company Bahadur”.
The episode explores the time of Nawabs and Sultans who, in order to snatch powers from each other used favors from the foreign businessmen which have established their own forces and even built their own forts in India! Now, these “businessmen” got so strong that not only the counts and small rulers but bigger ones are also seeking to remain in their good books. And, these invaders are playing their own power politics at various levels.
It was the time of Robert Clive when things started taking political turns as well. And each of the company officer deputed in India, in order to remain in good books of the king and queen of Briton, used more force, brutality and politics to collect more and more money from the citizens of the country and filling in the treasury of East India company and ultimately British empire.
During this power politics and games, rulers like Mir Jaffer, Mir Kasim, and Raja Nandkumar gain one thing or the other. But humble bureaucrats like Raza Khan who think about the well being of the people are used and thrown!
The pain of the people and kind-hearted rulers and bureaucrats and the cunning politics of British invaders and power hungry native rulers is explored in this episode quite effectively. which rather than talking much about, I would suggest you to watch it.
In terms of script, we can say that the writers nailed it quite effectively. It is not easy to explore historical times. Especially, the one explored in this episode. The balanced approach of the scriptwriter to remain as factual as possible without making the drama boring works quite effectively.
The casting director knows his job beyond expectations, I must say. Who could have imagined Jalal Agha in the role of a British officer? He slips into the role very effectively and delivers a fantastic performance. When watching such a nice performance, we feel that such brilliant actors didn’t get proper opportunities and required recognition in the industry.
Amrish Puri is a fantastic actor and it doesn’t require us to tell the same. He effectively plays the role of Raza Khan. The character of Raza Khan has many shades, a fearless yet vulnerable bureaucrat, a humble yet strong officer and a true well-wisher of the citizens. The struggle he goes through is explored very effectively on the screen, and Amrish Puri requires an appreciation for his performance.
Tom Alter has a comparatively small role as Sykes, and he tried remaining true to it. He doesn’t get much of a melodramatic stuff. Same we can say for Rajendra Gupta who played Raja Nandkumar.
The dancing scenes and the cock-fighting scenes are definitely worth watching. Actually, the cock-fighting scenes are something you should pay attention to. They are filmed so realistically and you can see how the game of words while watching the play was played. It also reminds you of the fact that these were the kind of entertainment sources the rulers paid attention to, rather than ruling effectively. And, it became one of the reasons for the success of invaders.
These scenes reminded me of the famous book Shataranj Ke Khiladi by late Premchand ji.
The effective use of background music makes the episode more enjoyable. The impact of the respective scene gets multifold with it. The dialogs are simple yet effective. The well-researched wardrobe and authentic looking sets add to the positives of the episode.
I enjoyed watching episode. Be it the script, performances or exploration, it stands tall. Definitely, a recommended watch.
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