We Removed ‘Om’ From Maratha Flag as It’s Technically Wrong: Ajay
Saif and Ajay talk about their upcoming film ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warriror’.
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is all set to release on 10 January. Speaking about their upcoming film to The Quint, Saif Ali Khan and Ajay Devgn said that it is a visual treat and will attract audiences of all age groups.
Especially when you’re making a film which is based on historical references, what was the challenge for you?
Ajay Devgn: The script is written and there’s a lot of work that’s gone into it. There’s research involved for about two to three years, especially history and how the characters were made.
Saif Ali Khan: I am saying history changes on the basis of who is doing the talking. History is an argument told by the winner, usually, of that area. In our scenario, the history of the situation and the popular history and the correct history is that Tanhaji was Shivaji Maharaja’s right-hand man, so in that sense he’s a quintessential hero. He stood up against oppression and basically fought this incredible battle, a secret kind of assault raid. There’s a responsibility to have a character like that you have got to treat it with – you have got to honour the character but also have to entertain the audience. You can’t preach at people. You have to engage the audience. So it’s a fine balance that the makers have to strike between – in a country like ours – keeping the reverence when you are dealing with people like Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Ajay: Also, history does not have everything. I mean you have a start, middle, finish, but how do they go through the whole process? That has to be written and it cannot be 100 percent correct because it’s not there. So you have to weave it. You have to keep it in mind that you don’t wrong it.
When the trailer came out Ajay, there’s a line which says “Surgical strike on the Mughal empire”. Do you think that it’s a fair thing to say in the political environment we are in?
Ajay Devgn: It’s just because people know what surgical strike means because of a film called Uri. It is another term for guerrilla warfare, which has been happening. It’s not something we have created. It used to happen in the times of Shivaji Maharaj. He was the one who actually started guerrilla warfare, otherwise he couldn’t have won any war. So how does that connect? I didn’t understand.
There’s also this scene in the trailer where we see the Maratha flag being waved. And as we know that Maratha flag is just the saffron colour but in the trailer, we actually see an ‘Om’ symbol on it.
Ajay Devgn: And then it’s not there. We have removed it. Because it was technically wrong. Not because we came under pressure. We spoke to some historians and they said that there was never an ‘Om’ symbol, so we removed it.
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