'Jodhaa Akbar' gets fresh lease of life

Mar 14, 2008


New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday allowed continued screening of film "Jodhaa Akbar" in Uttar Pradesh and some towns of Haryana and Uttarakhand.

A bench of Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan extended its March 4 order which had lifted the ban on its screening in Uttar Pradesh and Dehradun in Uttarakhand and Ambala, Sonepat and Rewari in Haryana.

The bench also issued notice to its producer UTV Software Communication Limited on a petition by Shri Rajput Sabha of Jaipur, which accused the film directed by Ashutosh Gowariker of portraying "wrong historical facts".

The bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran, granted relief to the film, while taking up second hearing of the producer's plea against the ban on the screening of the film in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.

The Uttar Pradesh government banned the screening of the movie in the state on March 1 through a written order by the state's principal secretary.

Similarly, Uttarakhand and Haryana authorities too had banned it in several towns of their states, including Dehradun, Ambala, Sonepat and Rewari through oral administrative orders.

The apex court, however, suspended those orders March 4 and allowed the screening.

Meanwhile, the Rajput organisation, which moved the court saying it too has a stake in the matter related to the film, accused the film of portraying "wrong historical and cultural facts".

Sabha president Narendra Singh Rajawat said in his petition that Jodha Bai alias Manmati was daughter of Udai Singh alias Mota Raja of Jodhpur and she was married to Emperor Akbar's son Jehangir, also known as Shehzada Salim on June 27, 1586.

Quoting the works of various historians, Rajawat said that thus it was clear that Jodha Bai was not the wife but the daughter-in-law of Akbar the great or Mohammad Jalaluddin.

The film, starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, shows Jodha as Akbar's wife.

Rajawat contended that Akbar the great was instead married to another Rajput princess, Harkha Bai, the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber on Feb 6, 1562.

Rajawat mentioned these historical facts, quoting the works of historians like Satish Chandra, the former chairman of University Grant Commission, A.K Mittal of Gorakhpur University, Ashirwadilal Srivastava and several others.

Rajawat said the distortion of the names of Rajput wives of the Moughal kings crept into the history owing to wrong information mentioned in the book 'Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan,' written by Lieutenant Colonel James Todd, who was the British political agent of the western Rajput states.

It was this wrong writing by Todd, which led to depiction of Jodha Bai as Akbar's wife in popular Hindi film "Mughal-e-Azam", he held.

Rajawat contended in his petition that he is having no other objection to the film if these historical facts are set right.

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Jodhaa Akbar



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