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Freedom nuggets in new TV show

New Delhi, July 12: The story of India’s political battle for Independence will be aired as a series titled Pradhan Mantri on ABP News, starting on Saturday night.

The weekly episodes will be presented by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur with the first going on air at 10pm tomorrow. ABP News is part of the ABP Group, publishers of The Telegraph.

The programme will highlight little-known anecdotes as well as letters and documents locked up in archives. It will have a dramatised version of all backroom negotiations and details of the lives of leaders who fought for India’s freedom.

Kapur, who is known for directing films like Bandit Queen and Elizabeth, said the series was an eye-opener for him too. “Today we are talking about coalition governments, and the rise of regional powers. The seed of all this was sown in our early years,” he said.

Contemporary history would open a window for the audience to explore further, he said. “History is not definitive or restrictive. Instead it should be exploratory. No one can tell you the full truth, but you can provoke people to find more,” Kapur said.

Initially conceptualised for 23 episodes, the series will talk about post-Independence history too.

“When you work on a series like this, then it is an obvious fact that you will be touching some sensitive and very controversial aspects of Indian politics,” said Shazi Zaman, the group editor of ABP News.

The series goes on air at a time when the country is slipping into election mode. “We have been working on this show for a long time and it has involved painstaking research, collection of rare documents and footage. It is purely a coincidence that it is coming at a time when the dominant question is who will be next Prime Minister,” Zaman said.