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Panipat movie distortion of history, watchers allege

Panipat movie distortion of history, watchers allege

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Dec 08, 2019 - 10:12

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A new Indian movie on Afghan Shah Abdali Baba’s third Battle of Panipat was released on Saturday, sparking harsh reactions from Afghans.

A colossal sum of around one billion Indian rupees has been spent on the movie, which does not seem to be a box-office hit.

This film has the theme of the 3rd Battle of Panipat between the Maratha Empire and Abdali Baba on January 14, 1761. Abdali won the battle after killing more than 50,000 Indian soldiers.

The movie has been made by veteran Indian film director Ashutosh Gowarikerm, who has also directed critically-acclaimed films Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar.

Senior Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt stars as Abdali, with ArjunKapoor acting as the Maratha emperor and KritiSanon as his spouse.

Before the release of the movie, Afghans expressed their concerns, who view the film as an insult to the former king--- Ahmad Shah Abdali Baba.

Jafar Haand, a US-based Afghan journalist who watched the movie on Saturday, shared comments on his Facebook page.

“It will be better to call the movie a commercial film, not a historic one. Some of the scenes and stories of this movie are not rooted in history,” he wrote.

Haand said movie showed Ahmad Shah Abdali in a bad light and lionised Mahath -- a portrayal not supported by history.

Presidential candidate Noor Rahman Lewal, who is currently in India and has watched the film, also commented on it.

The movie is marred by a myriad of errors, according to the political figure, who recalled the concerns voiced by Afghans when the trailer was released.

Shafiq Hamdard, a political analyst, agreed: “Indians and Marathas have distorted history. Ahmad Shah Baba is a bright chapter, in such films; his personality cannot be denigrated because we know what the truth is.”

Ehsanullah Hashimi linked the film’s failure to two things -- distortion of history and the choice of Indians.

Another Facebook user, Shah Mahmood Hotak, posted: “I predicted long ago the history will be twisted in this film and Abdali shown as the oppressor and Maratha as the oppressed.”

Last month, acting Afghan Ambassador to India Tahir Qadiri told Pajhwok Afghan News: “We are in contact with Indian officials and have shared the Afghans’ concern with them.”

Ajmal Alamzai, cultural attaché at the Afghan embassy in Delhi, said he came to know two years ago about the movie and launched an investigation in this regard.

sa/mud

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