Recently, the much talked about film review portal ‘Film Companion’ published a video on their Twitter account, which went viral on social media. In this video, film critic Anupama Chopra was interviewing Saif Ali Khan, who talked about his personal preferences as well as his upcoming film ‘Jawani Janeman’, which would hit the cinema screens on 31st of January.
When Anupama asked about the alleged controversy over the depiction of history in ‘Tanhaji’, Saif replied, “I don’t think that what was shown in Tanhaji was history.” However, the Nawab of Pataudi didn’t stop at just and went on to claim, “I don’t think that the concept of India as a nation ever existed till the Britishers gave it one.” For those unaware, Anupama Chopra had castigated ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ in her film review, for which she was massively trolled by netizens across the social media.
Saif’s statement was like the perfect ammunition for the cannon of fake news, operated brilliantly by the left aligned mainstream media, who even went to make Saif say that the idea behind Tanhaji is extremely dangerous. But that is for another day.
The truth of the moment is, Saif Ali Khan only proved how ignorant he is when it comes to knowing about Indian history. A self proclaimed history buff, Saif Ali Khan doesn’t even know that as a nation, the history of India is quite vivid and detailed. Known once by names like Jambudwipa, Aryavart and even Bharatvarsha, India or Bharat has existed for ages. Even in terms of modern history, the first time the concept of India was mentioned was in the writings of the legendary philosopher cum political strategist, Acharya Chanakya, who realized his dream of Akhand Bharat though his trusted pupil, Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the first pan Indian empire, the Mauryan Empire. For his logic behind naming his son Taimur, the lesser we say, the better.
India was invaded multiple times, but each time a braveheart was ready to challenge the tyranny of the invaders, irrespective of the circumstance or the extent of the kingdom. Be it Anantdeva Gajapathi, or Kapilendradeva Routray, or Veer Hammir Singh Sisodia, or Maharana Pratap, or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, or Guru Gobind Singh or even Lachit Borphukan for that matter, their struggles have proved time and again that the war to liberate India didn’t begin for the first time in 1857.
Now if we talk about the history as depicted in Tanhaji, it is natural for a maker to take certain cinematic liberties. However, to be honest, Tanhaji is one of the few films in the history of Indian cinema, which has not meddled with the real Indian history or the indigenous culture in order to appease the leftist intelligentsia or the radical Islamists. Ajay Devgn and Om Raut have themselves confessed to the fact that they took great care in terms of maintaining historical accuracy with respect to the principal characters of the movie.
To quote Om Raut, “It is important to keep the sanctity, persona and the purity of the character intact when you are dealing with historical figures. There shouldn’t be anything that will possibly create any type of harm to their image. There has to be self-censorship that every maker has to maintain. I would like to put such restrains on myself and keep the sanctity, purity intact and do it with the right heart so it gets translated on-screen.”
However, Saif Ali Khan’s hypocrisy on the subject was exposed soon enough, when popular Twitter user Political Kida uploaded a stinging tweet on their account. In one case Saif Ali Khan was agreeing to Ajay Devgn’s view while being interviewed by Rajeev Masand, that the Britishers made us ‘forget our history’, while in the other case Saif was seen massaging the bruised ego of Anupama Chopra, who was apparently aghast at the ‘alleged’ defiance of Ajay Devgn in terms of representing the Mughals as they were in ‘Tanhaji’.
This wasn’t all. When Saif explained his point of view to Anupama Chopra, he also said that since the role of Uday Bhan was too delicious for him, he didn’t protest against the behind ‘Tanhaji’. It is the same thing as a tobacco product seller lamenting on the devastating effects of cancer.
Interestingly, the only good thing about the movie was deliberately hidden by Film Companion. During the interview, Saif also agreed to the fact that as an actor, he cannot comment on important national issues without sound knowledge, or else this might affect the business of the said actor or actress. In a subtle way, Saif did point out at the example of Chhapaak, which crashed at the box office due to the same reasons. Overall, Saif Ali Khan proved with this interview, that he might be an accomplished actor, but in terms of history, he is nothing but a noob, and to an extent, even a hypocrite.