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Delhi's Iconic Red Fort Sound and Light Show to Make Comeback with New Script

Historian Professor Kapil Kumar, who is also the director of Centre for Freedom Struggle and Diaspora at IGNOU, has written the script for the new multimedia show at the Red Fort.

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Updated:October 11, 2019, 9:54 AM IST
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Delhi's Iconic Red Fort Sound and Light Show to Make Comeback with New Script
File photo of the Red Fort. (Reuters)

The sound and light show at the Red Fort is set to make a comeback in few months sporting a new avatar. Albeit, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has not given a specific timeline, a new script has reportedly been approved.

Historian Professor Kapil Kumar, who is also the director of Centre for Freedom Struggle and Diaspora at IGNOU, has written the script for the new multimedia show, The Times of India reported.

Professor Kumar explained that his main thrust is to show how Red Fort became a symbol of India. Kumar, who is also the man behind the new museums in the venue, added that the show would talk about the fort's construction, cultural aspects and architecture. He further revealed was a "melting point of cultures".

According to reports, other interesting tales have also been included keeping in mind the audience and one of them is the story of how the famed Kohinoor diamond was grabbed by the Persian invader Nadir Shah when he forced emperor Muhammad Shah 'Rangila' to exchange turbans with him.

According to Professor Kumar, the major thing he has shown is a trial of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar at Red Fort and how it turned the fort into a national symbol.

The new script also shows the British invasion of the fort, INA trials and how the Tricolour was unfurled at Red Fort on August 15, 1947.

The previous light and sound show was created in 1968 and was scripted by the likes of Kaifi Azmi, Ali Sardar Jafri and Khushwant Singh. Directed by Bollywood legend Chetan Anand, it had voiceovers by Meena Kumari and Amrish Puri among others. The lighting installations were done by the legendary Tapas Sen.

Elaborating on how the new script is different, Professor Kumar said, the previous one, including its technology and equipment were all outdated. Furthermore, he explained that the earlier show focused on Mughal history and while there is nothing wrong in it, today's youngsters are more interested in knowing why the Prime Minister hoists the flag at Red Fort.

"The new show has scenes from Shah Jahan’s time and from the time of the later Mughals. However, I have avoided the controversial parts in the previous one that could lead to disunity," Professor Kumar added.

He further elaborated that since he is rewriting history, he hasn't done it from the Hindu-Muslim point of view.

"I have said that in 1857, Zafar’s rule extended to just a few parts of Chandni Chowk. But the entire country accepted him as the emperor of India. Soldiers (rebel sepoys) saw him like that. And even the Hindu princes like Nana Saheb, Tatya Tope and Rani Lakshmibai accepted Zafar as emperor of India. What we see in that is the emergence of Indian nationalism. I disagree with the view that Indian nationalism arose with the formation of Indian National Congress in 1885," Professor Kumar elaborated.

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