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Indian movie ‘Panipat’ sparks criticisms among Afghans

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: India’s prominent Film star, Sanjay Dutt, is expected to play the role of Ahmad Shah Durrani, the King and founder of Afghanistan in 18th century in a Bollywood movie of ‘Panipat’. The Panipat battle is an important and common historical event of India and Afghanistan.
The Director of the film Ashutosh Gowariker announced that Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon will be playing the key roles in this film. In a statement released, director Gowarikaer has said that he had the experience of work with Sanjay Dutt in the film of Naam and was pleased to direct another movie with prominent actor.
The complete name of the film is (Panipat; That Great Betrayal) and would focus on the third Panipat war in 1761 that took place between the then king of Afghanistan Ahmad Shah Abdali, also known as Durrani and then Army of Indian Maratha empire in Panipat city. In this war that led to victory of Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Afghan king was supported by Indian group of Rohillas and Najib-ud-Daulah.
According to historical evidents, tens of thousands of people were killed in this war and thus has been considered as one of the biggest and adventuristic wars of the 18th century in the history of India and Afghanistan.
Born in 1722, Ahmad Shah Abdali or Ahmad Shah Durrani was the founder of Durrani empire as well as the founder of today’s Afghanistan who became king of Afghanistan in 1747 AD following the assassination of Nader Shah Afshar.
Arjun Kapoor will appear in the role of Sadashivrao Bhau (The Supreme Commander of Marathi). Kirti Sanon will be playing the role of Parvati Bai, the second wife of Sadashivrao Bhau, the one who support always her husband and even takes part in war alongside him.
Releasing a poster of the film, Sanjay Dutt has written in his twitter, ‘I am eagerly waiting to be part of the Panipat film’.
A narration from bravery of Indians:
As the players of new generation of Indian cinema, Arjun Kapoor and Kirti Sanon, might have not been recognized in Afghanistan but due to the reason of decades long popularity of Indian films and cinema in Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan know Sanjay Dutt as they knew Ahmad Shah Durrani.
Commenting on this film, Kirti Sanoon has twitted, “I am proud to be part of narration of bravery, zeal and patriotism in third Panipat war. Arjun Kapoor also has twitted that he is proud to screen bravery of Marathis.
According to above tweets, it seems that the film more distinguishes devotions and braveries of Indians in this war so to manage to satisfy majority of Indian audiences or be a narrator of that important phase of Indian history.
Cinema and historical events:
Director of the movie has tweeted, “Historical dramas have always fascinated me. This time the scenario is on the third Panipat war.”
But Afghan filmmakers and critiques saying that retelling a historical narration in cinema depends upon author and his/her looking to the events. “One filmmaker has a linear, written and traditional looking to history while the other a critical and anti-traditional,” a film critique Hussain Danesh said.
Talking on this issue whether a filmmaker should remain committed to original narration in historical films or not, Danish said, “Most of filmmakers remain committed to origin of an event but illustrate their critical narration from the heart of historical event.
According to this cinematographer, India might have been the only country in east and Asia that its filmmakers narrate history with open hand and some of its films have been facing with problem, but these are filmmakers who criticize the private properties. But in Afghanistan, people took to the social media and criticized making of such films, saying their king were insulted in the movie. “Government should act and take steps against the movie as based on the trailer, it has been insulting our king,” Mujeeb Mohammadi said in his Facebook page. Meanwhile the Afghan General Council in Mumbai says that had earlier requested the director of the movie and actors to share contents of the movie but did not receive any positive respond.
“I wrote a letter to the director and actors of the movie to know the conent of the movie and if that insulting our King but didn’t receive any positive result. I could talk with Sanjay Dutt a few days back and he assured that wouldn’t play the role if it was about insulting the Afghan king,” Nasim Sharifi wrote in his Facebook page.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Information and Culture says that has appointed a committee on the basis of people’s requests with the membership of authorized representatives from the Presidential Office, National Security Council, General Directorate of the Presidential Administrative Affairs, Ministries of Information and Culture and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Academy of Sciences and other related organs, to follow the content and scenario of the Panipat Indian Movie.
The committee was asked to provide report about their studies on the film and share with the ministry’s next meeting, the ministry said.

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The Kabul Times.