September 2011

History on TV: A smart move

By Sudha Vidyasagar

How did you feel as a child when the characters you read about came to life on screen? Excited! Right?

When children see historical characters on television they get enthralled and inspired. Some of the notable serials like "Tipu Sultan" and "Chanakya" have been shown on television. There was a fear that such serials won't continue because of the change in taste of audience. But the success of "Jhansi Ki Rani: Ek Veer Stree" on Zee TV and "Chandragupta Maurya", which is currently being aired on Imagine TV, our fear has been proved wrong.

There is also another historical serial on Zee TV "Shobha Somnath Ki", which brings before us the lesser known story of Gujarat's intelligent princess Shobhana, who fought with the enemies not using the swords, but using her wits. Bringing such stories before the kids, reintroduces to them the legendary characters of whom they get to know only through text books. Children are able to connect with these characters and are inspired by them. Seeing a young Chandragupta's valour and determination and a young Rani Laxmi Bai's patriotism, children can be inspired towards achieving their ambition right from a young age. Princess Shobhana's tactics of fighting a war without sword can show the children that they do not need a weapon to fight every battle in their life and that their mind itself is a sharp weapon.

A new serial "Veer Shivaji" on one of the most inspiring characters of Indian History Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will soon be seen on Colors channel. Shivaji Maharaj was a king who was not only known for his valour, but also for his sense of justice. His subjects never had to face the evils of discrimination, as people of all religion were his own people. He took the oath to fight for "Sawaraj" at a tender age of 14 and achieved his goal. Depicting such a character on television is a notable step.

Let us hope that this trend of portraying historical characters on television continues and many more serials on historical personalities are made to inspire the youngsters.

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