The Rising : In Response To Ramanand's Post
As we all know Ketan Mehta's The Rising is slated for a June release. I am waiting for it for three years now. The fact that it's Amir Khan's next is intriguing enough; but so much time has been spent on script and pre & post shooting activity that it further adds to the intrigue.
The most (if I may use the word again for the want of any other) intriguing part is that this is the story about Mangal Pandey, the soldier who killed his superior at Barackpore Chhavani, Meerut. This is so because there is hardly any other information available to us about Mangal Pandey's life, then how can a whole film be made on him ?
It can be argued that's the reason why so much research has been done on this. Ketan Mehta did it, and so did Amir. Mangal Pandey's great grand children have been consulted. But even they have also complained that facts are very different from the fiction in movie. Fellow blogger, Ramanand has very rightly raised his concern. I am mostly in agreement with him as far as script's authenticity is concerned. But I differ on Mangal Pandey, the individual.
He was not a ruler (Bahadur Shah Jafar or Rani Jhansi), or a general(Tatya Tope), or a minister(Nana Saheb); never a scholar or a reformer of that era. He was absolutely nobody, a common man, not a man of any authority. Our historians, generally, don't have much account of common men, therefore they haven't written significantly about them. Sometimes, because of their ideals they would choose not to write; while rest of the time they are plain ignorant.
This is the reason why people haven't heard of Khudi Ram Bose, or Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi; heck they don't know much about VallabhBhai Patel or Lal Bahdur Shastri either, though they may be very well versed in sexual escapades of Jawaharlal Nehru. So how can we be expected of to know about a mere mortal called Mangal Pandey.
But he was also an individual in the times of oppression, who was perhaps more involved in the act because he was a soldier, and must have been entrusted with such job many a times. Over and above that, like other Indian soldiers, he was oppressed by his British peers and superiors.
There might have been a fire of disgrunt and hatred burning in him. We do have read that he was leading a discontent against greased cartridges amongst the soldiers for quite a sometime. It is possible that he might have planned all this in a small way.
Of course, he might not have done what 'The Rising' would like us to believe, but freak killing under the influence of Bhang wouldn't have given rise to such an uprising as it actually was. After all, such killings of Gora Log was not entirely unheard of.
Nor those were the days of Aaj Tak and Fox News; still the news spread like wild fire and within two days struggle in the entire country was on; which gives credence to the fact that it was not spread afterwards, rather it was already there at most places. That could only happen when it was planned.
My point is : Let's doubt the factuality of the 'The Rising', but let's not do that to Mangal Pandey for the want of hard evidence just because Kanoon Saboot Mangta Hai .