Geo launched a new channel last year and since its launch it has had a lot of success mainly because of the Turkish content being shown on it. Mera Sultan is ruling the air waves and it is a good thing but what is not good is the serial being shown parallel to it; Jodha Akbar. After looking at countless ads and watching the episodes for further investigation of this serial, I inferred that the history being portrayed was incorrect and it is also offensive towards the Muslim Emperor. In this article I’m going to tell about some aspects that make this serial unacceptable.
The first thing to notice is the portrayal of the characters of Akbar. Akbar is shown as an arrogant and power hungry ruler who is constantly striving to put down Jodha Akbar. This is incorrect as history books don’t describe his personality to be so. Even the Wikipedia pages say:
“Akbar was said to have been a wise emperor and a sound judge of character. He rarely indulged in cruelty and is said to have been affectionate towards his relatives. He pardoned his brother Hakim, who was a repented rebel. But on rare occasions, he dealt cruelly with offenders, such as his maternal uncle Muazzam and his foster-brother Adham Khan, who was twice defenestrated for drawing Akbar’s wrath.”
The rare cruelty is the one that is required to deal with people who cross the line. it is a known fact Adham Khan was against the appointment of Akbar’s favorite general Ataga Khan as prime minister so he accompanied by a few ruffians burst in upon him as he sat in the hall of audience and murdered him. This called upon the wrath of Akbar and he killed him.
The character of Akbar’s first wife Ruqaiya Sultan Begum is also manipulated very badly. It is shown that she was a very cynical woman who was always plotting against poor Jodha. However it is a false allegation since Ruqaiya was a well-educated woman who was fluent in many languages. She always participated in the government and was active among the court activities. By these facts it is unlikely that a Mughal princess of such high stature would conspire against Jodha especially when there was no reason for jealousy as she was always kept in high regard by her husband and was given great respect and affection.
Marriage of Jodha Akbar
The soap shows that Akbar comes across a painting of Raj Kumari Jodha of Amer and he is amazed by her beauty. He then orders an attack on Amer in order to marry jodha and make her a part of his “Harem”. He is shown to manipulate the Rajas of Amer and succeeds in his .
This however is untrue as the emperor didn’t simply seek to conquer amer for its princess but Akbar sought after conquering the Rajputana and Amer was just a part of this conquest. It is known that the Rajas themselves surrendered infront of him and gave Jodha to him in order to please him, and it was to their advantage as on Akbar’s marriage Akbar took the nephew of Heer Kunwari and son of Raja Bhagwan Das of Amer into the imperial service, by giving him an office in his court. Raja Bhagwan Das was also enrolled amongst the nobility.
The soap falsely shows that Jodha is treated ill by Akbar and that she remains unhappy in the palace of Akbar however she was given the honor of being one of the only four members of the court and the only woman to have the rank of 12,000 cavalry. She was among the few other women at the Mughal court and was granted the right to issue official documents. She was also a very wealthy woman as she ran many businesses and used her wealth to build gardens and mosques.
Change of Heart
Further episodes of the soap show how Akbar is transformed from being an arrogant man to one who loves and holds Jodha dear to his heart. It is already shown that Akbar was not so in personality to begin with and that he was one that had love in his heart for all. The marriage did however gradually shift Akbar’s policies about Hindus and it is logical to take influence from someone as close as a consort. However the change Jodha brought in him has been greatly exaggerated giving all credit of his good deeds towards his people (specifically Hindus) to his wife Jodha. This is why the soap itself is named “Jodha Akbar” as it gives importance to Jodha more that Akbar dubbing her as an influential personality in history. It may be so that Jodha Akbar was a great Empress but she was not the sole reason softness towards Hindus.
The producer of Jodha Akbar , Ekta Kapoor’s said,
“I always believe its 80% history and 20% folklore. There are enough proofs that say it’s true, but then there are some people who say it’s not. Akbar had a certain graph and we know that. We cannot negate that there was a change of heart in him – from a power-hungry ruler to a non-biased one – because of a Rajput queen. “
The producer of this serial has always been a center of criticism and in truth such foolish productions can only be expected to be created by her. The serials that she has produced in the past all have a “dramatic” aspect in them which exaggerated small issues of house hold and blew them out of proportion. Her saas bahu serials include the “Kyun k sas b kabhi baho thee” and “Kasauti Zindagi ki” which had over a thousand episodes and had the worst kind of influence on Pakistan when Star Plus was still running.
Given Ekta Kapoor’s bad history it is not advised to watch this serial. In addition I personally believe it should be banned from airing in Pakistan since the lack of education about Muslim history can lead us to believe in the stories being shown on screen thus poisoning the minds of our people and turning them against our great rulers of the past.