Mahabharat Tale: Maharathi Karna
Khan, who shot to fame as an actor with films like Ek Phool Do Mali and Mela, directed films like Abdullah and Kala Dhanda Goray Log. He later switched over to TV with The Sword of Tipu Sultan, The Great Maratha and Jai Hanuman.
Here he talks about his TV shows:
Maharathi Karna and 1857 Kranti were to be on air two years ago. Why the delay?
They were made for DD but there was a misunderstanding between DD and the 37 producers. The producers were overnight made defaulters because DD was asking for unrealistic terms as a bond. But the market does not pay that much so we were all forced to withdraw our shows from DD. I had to pull out Jai Hanuman which had a TRP of around 20.
Mahabharat Tale: Maharathi KarnaSanjay Khan is ready to start two of his magnum opus serials on Doordarshan. Costing over Rs 16 crore each, Maharathi Karna and 1857 Kranti will be on air soon.
How did you patch-up?
The relationship between DD and the producers is one of love and hate. We are like family. So they called us back as they do have a lot of good people in their ranks. So I now have Maharathi Karna and 1857 Kranti coming up.
What is the mood behind 1857 Kranti?
I want to say that the words Sepoy Mutiny and Uprising are not right. The British were invaders who came in as traders and became our rulers. I want to portray history as it is. They were the usurpers. I am calling it the first war of independence.
With Ketan Mehtas film Mangal Pandey also coming up, you seem to have trouble around the corner.
Mangal Pandey is in my serial for more than two episodes. He is an unimportant component of the mutiny. He happened to fire the first bullet. He is a small soldier with a big heart who has been glamourised. I want school children to see this serial to know their history. Textbooks in schools dont often tell the right story. My research will help show the truth.
Tell us about Karna.
Karna is the story of the deprived child. Seventy per cent people are deprived of something in life. People who have been deprived will identify with the serial. It is the tale between the Soodputra and the Rajputra. Even this is being made on a large scale. Karnas point of view has never been shown. I am portraying him as a strong character. He will not be the ranting, puffing, angry or oblique. You will like him.
What are your hopes from the shows?
They. 1857 Kranti could go on to become the channel driver. DD will be restored its lost glory soon.
With a cost of over 16 crore per episode, how do you propose to recover the money?
We have always done it even during bad times. Everything is a TRP game. I am confident of getting my TRPs.
1857 Kranti will be telecast on Sundays from December 29 at 11 am. Maharathi Karna will air from January 1 at 9 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays