Shabana Azmi and Satinder Sartaaj are all geared up for their upcoming film The Black Prince. They were in Ludhiana to promote this film.
Little did anyone know that Maharaja Duleep Singh was the motivational force behind Indian freedom struggle because the then British rulers, fearing his personality influence, didn’t give him exposure to his native land and instead confined him in the precincts of British kingdom.
The Black Prince reveals the hidden chapter of the contribution of descendants of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in attaining independence from British in 1947.
Though, the King, Maharaja Duleep Singh, was placed on the throne at the age of five only to be robbed of his throne by a bloody treason at the hands of his trusted courtiers. At the age of fifteen, he was taken away from his mother Maharani Jindan to England where he was introduced to Queen Victoria who at the first glance of Maharaja Duleep Singh called him “The Black Prince”.
Despite being indoctrinated into Christianity, Duleep Singh was curious to know more about Sikh faith and the people from his land and successfully re-established contacts with his cousin Sardar Thakur Singh Sandhawalia who on 28 September 1884, left Amritsar for England along with his sons Narinder Singh and Gurdit Singh and a Sikh granthi, Pratap Singh Giani. Sandhawalai also gave a list of properties to Duleep Singh which he owned in India.
Duleep Singh chose to return to India and set sail for home on March 30, 1886, in spite of protests by British.
Meeting his mother again after thirteen years, the Maharaja awakens to the realities of his former life in Punjab. He then begins the arduous journey to regain all that was lost and re-embrace the faith of his birth, Sikhism.
Maharaja Duleep Singh, his character as it evolves, torn between two cultures and facing constant dilemmas as a result. His relationship with Queen Victoria will be the most impactful relationship in the film, the Queen representing the English culture he was drawn into. His lifelong journey to regain his identity, dignity, and Kingdom took him across the world, but his struggle was not met with success, as he never won the chance to set foot again in his own land of Punjab.
A deeper insight to this tragic story awaits the audiences when the Hollywood film “The Black Prince” releases in India and across the world, on 21st July 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. ShabanaAzma 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’.