Kolkata: After the controversial 1946 Calcutta Killings which portray Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee in its lead role, film director Milan Bhowmik is now focused on a biopic on Princess Jahanara, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's eldest daughter, and her weakness for Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.
The movie, Jahanara, is learned to revolve around certain important aspects of the lives of Shivaji, Shah Jahan, his daughter Jahanara, his third son Aurangzeb, his eldest son Dara Shukoh and Aurangzeb’s daughter Zeb-un-Nisa.
“I have attempted to capture Jahanara right from her birth on March 23, 1614, to her death on September 16, 1681, and her fondness for Chhatrapati Shivaji. I have tried to portray Shivaji as a great warrior and how he fought against Mughals and promoted usage of Marathi and Sanskrit instead of Persian,” Bhowmik, said.
“The Mughals were concerned and worried over the rise of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji and his bravery. Many of us don’t know that Aurangzeb actually tried to use Jahanara to strike a deal with Shivaji to avoid war. Jahanara (after being advised by Aurangzeb as a part of the strategy to contain Shivaji) is also believed to have asked Shivaji to marry her but the Maratha king turned down her proposal. Some believe that Jahanara actually liked the Maratha king. Our team of researchers and historians are working on these facts so that we can bring a good informative movie before the people of India,” the filmmaker said, explaining his subject.
Bhowmik informed that after days of hunt for a new face to play role of Jahanara, he has zeroed in on debutant Eereen Adhikary. The shoot is likely to begin soon and producers are eyeing for a release during the Durga Puja.
“We will also highlight how Aurangzeb’s daughter Zeb-un-Nisa was obsessed with Shivaji’s chivalry. Zeb-un-Nissa remained a spinster all her life. There are historians who believe that it was Princess Zeb-un-Nisa who persuaded Aurangzeb for a meeting with Shivaji so that she could meet the Maratha king. There are more into it and I don’t want to reveal everything right now. Let’s wait for its release,” Bhowmik said while stating that Zeb-un-Nisa’s part in the movie would be short but elaborate.
The filmmaker’s controversial 1946 Calcutta Killings, which was stalled by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in September 2016, is now set for release after four cuts. The movie deals with Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s role during the Partition and is based on the backdrop of widespread communal riots and manslaughter in Kolkata (then Calcutta under the Bengal province of British India) which began on Direct Action Day of 16 August 16, 1946 where over 4,000 people lost their lives and over a lakh were rendered homeless.