Babbar plans Rs.125 crore film on Maharaja Ranjit SinghBy Alkesh Sharma, IANS
Monday, April 12, 2010
CHANDIGARH - After making a television serial on Maharaja Ranjit Singh, actor-politician Raj Babbar is determined to fulfil his dream of making films on eminent Sikh rulers although the budget of one movie has touched a whopping Rs.125 crore.
“I will certainly make films on legendary Sikh rulers like Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Duleep Singh. These will be international projects and would be made on a very big budget without any sacrifice on any front,” Babbar told IANS.
“Few years back I was planning to make a film on Ranjit Singh. At that time the budget was nearly Rs.35 crore. I could not make it due to financial constraints. Now the budget has reached Rs.125 crore, but still I have not backtracked. My planning is on. I will soon materialise my dream,” he added.
Babbar also hinted that the title of the film will be “The Lord of Five Rivers: Maharaja Ranjit Singh”.
Talking about the inspiration behind this, Babbar said: “I am very much impressed with Ranjit Singh’s personality. Being a Sikh myself, I take it as my responsibility to tell the masses about him. I want to educate people, especially youngsters.”
Babbar said that youngsters remember Ranjit Singh as someone who had lost his one eye and who brought back the Kohinoor diamond to India. But there were many pages of his life waiting to be told.
He was here Sunday evening to promote the TV serial “Maharaja Ranjit Singh”, made under his banner Babbar Productions.
He is ready with 52 episodes of the serial that will go on air Tuesday, coinciding with the festival of Baisakhi, on Doordarshan channel.
“Ranjit Singh was not like other rulers who only killed people and dictated. He also was an efficient strategist. He ruled for nearly 47 years, even seven years more than Akbar, and brought many reforms in the society. In his entire rule not even a single capital punishment was awarded,” said Babbar.
“His kingdom was the most secular where there were Muslims, Hindus and Christians holding significant positions and he was the first to start the practice of paying salaries to army men,” he pointed out.
The 52 episodes covers an era from 1739 to 1812, showing two stages of Ranjit Singh’s life. Babbar said they are really willing to extend the series till 1839 to showcase the third and last stage of Ranjit Singh’s life.
“We are hopeful to get approval for it. Then I will also get a chance to act in it. All the artists are picked from NSD (National School of Drama). So far we have got very encouraging response from Delhi, Mumbai and Jalandhar. I am sure it has the potential to break the success records of all the epics earlier shown on national network,” said Babbar.