India bans historical film!
Jodha Akbar, a film based on a legendary romance between a Muslim Moghul emperor and a Hindu princess from Rajasthan, was banned in India’s central Madhya Pradesh state yesterday (Friday) after protests by the Rajput community. The protesters claim the film distorts historical facts. They say it is an insult to portray Rajput princess Jodha as Akbar’s wife when she was his daughter-in-law.
The film tells the story of how Akbar married Jodha in an effort to win the allegiance of the Rajput chieftains who held sway over the north-western Rajasthan region, in his effort to extend the Mughal empire to Afghanistan. The film’s director Ashutosh Gowarikar said in a recent interview that he chose to tell the story of how the proud Rajput princess refused to be a mere political pawn and how a marriage of convenience turned into true love. The film is also an exploration of a cross-cultural marriage, he said.
“What I found attractive in this story was how two cultures and religions – the Rajputs and the Mughals – came together 450 years ago. I thought it fascinating to explore how the two resolved cultural differences and shared a perfect arranged marriage,” the director said. Dismissing the protests he said: “History gets rewritten every 50 years.” The director also said the film was 30 per cent fact from history books and 70 per cent love and romance from his imagination.
The film features top Bollywood actors Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan in the lead roles, and is estimated to have cost its producers UTV about 10 million dollars. It is said to be one of Bollywood’s biggest releases, opening at 1,500 screens in 26 countries, according to the producers. It has been dubbed in three Indian languages and subtitled in English, Dutch and Arabic. The three-and-a-half hour film has received mixed reviews in India.