New Delhi, June 1
The Ministry of Education needs to take cognizance of the contribution of Hindu kings and “balance” their stories with those of Mughal emperors who are given more space in school textbooks, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar said on Wednesday.
Ahead of the release of his film “Samrat Prithviraj”, a historical action drama based on the Rajput warrior king, Kumar said “it is sad that we don’t know about our own kings”.
“There were only three or four lines about Samrat Prithviraj in the history books I read. Through this movie I learned so much about him. ‘other also knows him,’ Kumar told PTI in an interview.
“When I was talking about him (Prithviraj) to my son, he said ‘I know the British Empire, the Mughal Empire, but who is he?’ So it’s a sad thing that we don’t know about our own kings. There were only a few lines about Rana Pratap, Rani of Jhansi. But there are a lot of chapters about Mughals,” he said. -he adds.
Kumar described his film, which was previously titled “Prithviraj” and was retitled last week following protests from Shree Rajput Karni Sena, as an “educational film set in a commercial manner”.
“I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Education to try (to bring) a balance and bring our culture, Hindu kings also in our textbooks,” Kumar said.
Kumar was in Delhi to promote his film and paid floral tributes at Qila Rai Pithoragarh, a complex in South Delhi housing a statue of Prithviraj Chauhan.
“Samrat Prithviraj,” produced by Yash Raj Films which released a statement on the name change, is directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi.
Kumar also weighed in on the “north versus south” cinema debate, saying he would rather talk about uniting film industries across the country than comment on a non-issue.
“The two industries are one. The British ruled us for 200 years using ‘Divide and conquer’, we are dividing (our country) again by doing all these things. We are India. They are making films in their mother tongue, we are making films in our mother tongue.” We should talk about uniting. Let’s say Allu Arjun and I are making a film together or Shah Rukh and Vijay are working on a film. We wish for such things Not things like ‘They’re eating away at your (movie) stuff,’” he explained.
Responding to the recent controversy over India’s national language, Kumar said, “All languages are national languages. “I am happy to speak my mother tongue (Punjabi), I think my mother tongue is the best. A Tamil person thinks his (language) is the best. I don’t understand what the debate is about. We all belong to one culture, one country.
“All of a sudden there was a roar (furore) about it all and I didn’t understand what was wrong with us? After reading so many stories, we’re still fighting to say ‘my language is ok’, ‘this language is bad’. I just believe it’s enough to be together,” Kumar said.
“Samrat Prithviraj” also stars Sanjay Dutt, Sonu Sood and marks the screen debut of Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar. The film is due out on Friday.