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Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat lauds TV role in appreciation of history.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Delhi (UNI): Political celebrities and Government dignitaries gracing film awards functions or events to launch films and TV serials is not something new. However, it is quite unusual to find the chief guest of the function speak with such passion as came across in the speech of Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat at a function last evening to announce the launch of a new serial.

Gracing an event for the launch of 'Dharti Ka Veer Yodha - Prithviraj Chauhan', a TV serial on the Rajput ruler Prithviraj Chauhan, the Vice President lauded the role of television in spreading tremendous awareness about India's rich cultural heritage and Historical legacy, something which he said was not possible merely through history books.

Produced by the late Ramanand Sagar's sons, Subhash Sagar, Prem Sagar and Jyoti Sagar under the banner of Sagar Arts international, which has given to television such historicals as 'Ramayana', 'Sri Krishna; and 'Vikram Aur Betaal', the mega historical series, tracing the life of Prithviraj Chauhan, from birth till death, will be aired from May 12 on Star Plus.

Admitting to being an ardent follower of serials like 'Ramayan', produced by the late Ramanand Sagar, and the recent 'Saibaba', made by Prem Sagar, Mr Shekhawat said,''serials like 'Ramayana' and 'Saibaba' have made an immense contribution in bringing, India's historical legacy and the rich cultural heritage out of the confines of the history books, which can only be read and understood by a limited section of people whereas these TV serials on the lives of Lord Rama and Saibaba can be understood by one and all.'' ''For example, Ramayana infused a sort of "cultural revival" in the whole of India, with the people of all ages and sections leaving aside all their work to watch religiously the life of Lord Rama on TV,'' Mr Shekhawat said.

Describing Prithviraj Chauhan as among the biggest warriors in India's history, Mr Shekhawat said,''most of us must have read about the life of Prithviraaj Chauhan in history books. However, watching the life of the great warrior through a TV serial would effectively bring out the grandeur and magnificence characterising his life which was full of instances of bravery, duty and patriotism,''he said.

Conceptualised by Moti Sagar and Anand Sagar and directed by Shakti Sagar, the series, to be aired every week from Friday to Sunday at 2100 Hours, will have newcomer Angad Bedi (son of cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi) play the title role of Prithviraj Chauhan, actress Parivah in the role of Prithviraj's beloved Sanyogita, model-turned actor Jas Arora in the role of Prithviraaj's father Someshwar, Milind Gunaji in the role of Kannauj king Vijaypal and actor Nirmal Pandey in the role of Mohammed Ghori.

Pointing out that India's history was full of tales of brave warriors, Mr Shekhawat felt that serials on historical 'heroes' like Prithviraj Chauhan, Maharana Pratap, Shivaji and Guru Gobind Singh would go a long way in spreading wide public awareness about their lives.

Legends have it that Prithviraj Chauhan ascended to the throne at a tender age of 13 years only. He fell in love with Sanyogita and whisked her away from her swayamwara. In the 12th century when the Arab and Turks invasions intensified, Prithviraj rose to power. The Rajput kings united under his flagship to fight Mohammed Ghori's conquests.

Speaking on the occasion, the producer Prem Sagar said,''launching of a serial on Prithviraj Chauhan is the fulfillment of a dream that my father ramanand Sagar saw in 1994 when, after reading the book 'Rajputs', he decided to make a serial on the Rajput warrior. Somehow, it could not be made in his lifetime. In that sense, it is culmination of that wish.'' ''Dharti Ka Veer Yodha - Prithviraj Chauhan' is sure to astound viewers as they watch the heroic saga of a man immortalised for his courage, valour and fearlessness. A glorious series true to its times, the show will trace the life of Prithviraj Chauhan from birth till death, highlighting all aspects of him and his life - bravery, duty, patriotism and love. While on one hand, it captures the nuances of the love story of Prithviraaj and Sanyogita, on the other it captures the ferocity of his battles with Mohammed Ghori,''Prem Sagar said.

He said the show, which will have close to 200 episodes to be aired over a period of one year, had been shot on an immense scale. Infact, a set had been erected at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore in Gujarat for the shooting of the serial. Prem Sagar expressed the hope that just as 'Vikram aur Betaal' opened the floodgates of special effects, 'Ramayana' opened doors for mythologicals, 'Prithviraj Chauhan would pave way for similar historical serials.

On the occasion, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was honoured by presenting him with a sword as a momento. A programme of Rajasthani folk songs, accompanied by folk dances of the state, was also staged. Reminding one of the ambience of the era of Prithviraj Chauhan was a ramp walk by the cast of the serial wearing the costumes worn by their characters in the serial.

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