Shyam Benegal on How He Shot ‘Padmavati’ for ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’

Benegal talks about Rani Padmavati in his series, Bharat Ek Khoj, and Bhansali’s film - now called ‘Padmavat’. 

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Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, known for several award-winning films, is also famous for his series - Bharat Ek Khoj. Over the course of 53 episodes, Benegal had brought to life Jawaharlal Nehru’s book, The Discovery of India, that he penned during his imprisonment, from 1942 to 1946. In one of these episodes, Shyam Benegal told on screen the story of Padmavat.

Padmavat, the ballad, was written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in the 15th century, and happens to be the inspiration for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati - currently, a hotbed of controversies and just cleared by CBFC with a ‘UA’ certificate and a title change.

The Quint caught up with Benegal to have a chat with him about his treatment of Rani Padmini of Chittor in the 26th episode of his series Bharat Ek Khoj. During the course of this conversation, Benegal tells us about the folklores surrounding Allauddin Khilji, Ratan Singh, and the elusive Rani Padmini. He does not shy away from commenting on the various ongoing protests held by political fringe groups, such as the Karni Sena, against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, and the actor Deepika Padukone.

Editor: Veeru Mohan Krishnan
Camera: Sanjoy Deb
Camera Assistant: Gautam Sharma

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