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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hindi TV Serial - Jodha Akbar - Jodha married to Akbar, comes into the harem

A serial on Jodha Akbar is always going to be controversial, but with the success of Devon Ke Dev, there was again a quest for having serials based on mythology or history, and so Ekta Kapoor comes up with the idea of having a serial based on the story of Jodha Akbar. Now, even when the film came up, there was a controversy since the historical record of that time really does not prove that such a story of the immense love between the Mughal emperor Jalal Akbar and a Rajput princess Jodha; and sections of the Rajput community see such a story as besmirching the warrior reputation of the Rajputs. After all, the Rajputs have a long history of fighting with the Mughals, but at the same time, there were many cases of Rajput rulers choosing to make peace with the Mughals (or the Delhi Sultanate before them), and one of the strongest ways of forming an alliance was through marriages, so getting a daughter married off to a Mughal ruler was seen as forming a strong alliance.
The history of the Mughal emperor Akbar was a violent one. His father, Humayun, had been toppled off his throne by Sher Shah Suri and had to spend a large amount of time traveling from one place to another, trying to mobilise an army to take back his kingdom. As a result, the birth of Akbar was during the time he was wandering, and much of his childhood was spent as his father was fighting, and even when Humayun did manage to win back his kingdom, he died soon after and a young Jalal had become the ruler. Thus, he was supposed to have become a very hard person, not prone to showing gentleness, and would give ultimatums to rival kingdoms that either they accepted him as their ruler, or else he would fight them, and then there would be no mercy. This is what happened to the ruler of Amer, who decided to accept the emperor Jalal as their ruler and decided that the young Jodha would also become another wife of Jalal, he already having a harem with other wives.
So, Jodha is not very happy about this, but there is very little choice, after all, the safety of her kingdom is at stake. She however asks Jalal to promise that she will be allowed to remain a Hindu, and will also have her god with her at her palace in Jalal's palace so that she can pray to her god. He agrees to both of these conditions, but otherwise he does not care too much. His mother on the other hand hopes that this feisty Rajput princess will finally break the coldness of her son's heart and make him a better man. So, finally Jodha comes to the palace for the wedding, with her presence causing the chief wife of Jalal, Queen Ruqaiya, to think that she also needs to bring this young wife of the emperor to quickly learn her place in the palace and understand that it is Queen Ruqaiya, who is the head of the harem and the person to whom Jalal goes to. On another problem is Mahamanga who is the one who has provided advice to Jalal from the beginning, and who also does not like the presence of Jodha in the palace and who tells Ruqaiya that she will work with her to show this new wife her place and ensure that she is embarrassed. 

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