Saturday, 8 August 2015

India Emerges: A Visual History...

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Being a Science teacher, you could very well guess that one of my favorite TV channels would be Discovery. Yes, I am not fond of those soap operas which air on the nation's many GECs.

Instead, you would often find me choosing flora and fauna and their marvelous manifestations on the TV. I would any day, choose to explore the functionality of machines over cry and hue.

Just a couple of days back, while flipping between the channels, I observed a ticker on Discovery.

It did not take me long to realize that the completion of Discovery's 20 glorious years in India coincides with our commemoration of the 69th year of independence.

On this pleasant coincidence, Discovery Channel India plans to present to its viewers India Emerges: A Visual History - the three-part series that will bring alive pages from history books, placing viewers at the epicenter of the story of contemporary India. The programme will unfold rare archival and never-seen-before footage - which narrates the story of the birth of independent India.

Next weekend is going to be special, as I have my dates marked for a tryst with the history of my nation. 14th, 15th and 16th August. The prime time slot of 8 PM has been reserved for this spectacle already, which will be aired on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD World.

The timeline of events has been curated to  take the viewers back into the history of India’s freedom struggle which spans the period of the British Raj in India, winding its way through tumultuous decades of the Indian freedom movement.

The battles of 1948, 1965 and 1971 will be brought into focus, along with the regime of Indira Gandhi, the period of Emergency, and Operation Blue Star among others.

The archives will unveil the stroke of midnight and also new borders, where a devastating partition will be unfolded. Having made its way through the ages, the series will culminate on the emergence of a strong, progressive and vibrant India that came into being after many challenges.

I was so curious about this series that I looked up its fine details.

The line-up looks interesting and intriguing at the same time.


Episode One - The Raj will narrate an era that traces the idea of India as a single entity when an intractable political landscape was ripe for the ambitious European imperialists. Through the 17th and 18th centuries, it will track the rising influence of the British East India Company, from purely capitalistic to political, until finally in the 19th century, when Queen Victoria officiated the transfer of power from ‘Company to Crown’.

As the hour will reach its conclusion, viewers will be left on the cusp of the Indian freedom movement. With the resistance, the people of India will be shown beginning to wake up to a new national consciousness.

Episode Two - March Towards Freedom plans to narrate how modern India was born. The viewers will be showcased, the days of British Imperialism, India’s turmoil to break free and emerge as an independent nation. Besides tracing the rise of Indian resistance movements, it will also track events unfolding across the globe including World War II, thus drawing a parallel.

The footage of the mass rallies where leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Maulana Azad urge the people towards non-violent struggle and the demand for ‘Swaraj’ are awakening, to say the least. Rare archives will take viewers into the chambers of Savarkar’s Hindu Mahasabha and round-table meetings of the Jinnah-led Muslim League. As the second part of the film will draw to a close, India’s independence will be imminent.

The third & final episode - A Nation Is Born will take viewers into the days leading up to India’s independence from British rule. Extensive and exclusive footage will take them through the phenomenal journey of how the two nations were formed along the Radcliffe Line - India and Pakistan.

The archived footage will feature the process of nation building, as India dedicates herself to overcoming its challenges. It will also highlight the White House reels of Jacqueline Kennedy’s visit to India help trace India’s steady upward rise in the global arena. As the film and the series will reach its conclusion, India is placed firmly in contemporary times, having emerged from its compelling history as the world’s largest democracy.


राज, राजनीति, और रंजिश के कई अनदेखे पल,
बयान करेंगे कहानी, एक उभरते देश की। 

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