The history of Punjab is known to be culturally very rich and informative, and the rulers have, in their own ways, set examples the world swears by. But how many of us actually know about this king, who was unaware of his own kingdom?
Maharaja Duleep Singh, also known as the ‘Black Prince’ in the Sikh history was the last heir of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the only son of Maharani Jindan. Since the very day he opened his eyes to the world, his life saw some of those stances that haunted him till his death.
When merely 10 months old, Duleep’s father, Sher –E –Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, left for his heavenly abode. Duleep was intended to be murdered when he was just 5 but destiny had something else in store for him and he survived.
He saw his maternal uncle, Jawahar Singh, getting murdered right in front of his eyes. Duleep’s mother, Maharani Jindan, lived under the cloud of fear and in due course of time was taken to Sheikhoopur so that she is not aware of the game plan that was being strategized against her son and her kingdom, by the greedy Britishers.
Not many know that the Kohinoor was surrendered to the Queen Of England under a fraudulent proclamation. It was under this very proclamation that Maharaja Duleep was moved away from his motherland to Fatehgarh and was under the strict supervision of appointed British staff.
At the age of 15 he became the first ever Royal to be converted to Christianity but as his maturity age was fast approaching, he was taken to England. His inner struggle went on till he was 24 and that’s when he demanded to see his mother. After a series of events in his life, he loses her forever but this loss leaves him a situation which hurts him to the core as he is not even able to fulfill her last wish.
A few more years pass by and an array of events continues to make his life more dramatic. One fine day, when the Maharaja studies the ‘Blue Book’ is when he finally confronts the dark truth about the British fraud against him and his kingdom. His pleas to get his rights back go unheard which is when he becomes a rebel.
Broken and helpless, the Maharaja returns to Paris but empty handed and deceived. His luxuries get sold off to pay his bills and that’s when life takes another toll on him, in the form of a paralysis attack.
In a modest Paris hotel room, this heartbroken and broke Maharaja of Punjab dies the loneliest death ever!
A deeper insight to this tragic story awaits the audiences when “The Black Prince” releases in India and across the world, on 21st. July. A Hollywood made film that will hit the screens in English, Hindi and Punjabi.
This film will showcase the untold story of the last ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh and the heart-rending ups and downs that this last heir of the richest kingdom of India had to go through.
Not only have the actors got critical acclaim for their performances in ‘The Black Prince’ at global film festivals, but as a debutante Satinder Sartaaj is being looked upon very highly. Shabana Azmi will be seen donning the character of Duleep’s mother Maharani Jindan.
The Director of the film Kavi Raz has very delicately balanced these chapters of Punjab’s history and has made sure to keep across a perspective that is not bookish but is close to what actually happened to ‘The Black Prince – Maharaja Duleep Singh’.
The trailer of the film was unveiled at Cannes’ India Pavilion and a special screening was also held in the main festival Palais.
Stay tuned as the trailer will be out soon!