In May 1893, a man is thrown out of a train, on the platforms of the train station of Pietermaritzburg, a little city of South Africa, for daring to sit in a first-class compartment. This young Indian lawyer by the name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has disembarked on the continent just a few days before and is having there his first experiences of racism and violence. Of this South-African life, that will last twenty-one years, Gahndi will learn lessons that will fuel his long non-violent struggle for the independence of his great country, then under British domination: India.
Some of the most powerful empires of all time have played a part in the history of India, from Alexander the Great through the British Empire. Trace the impacts of these conquerors on Indian history, from 334 BCE to the 21st century.
India on Film takes the viewer back in time, to over a century ago, to meet traditionally dressed women and men from across the classes, walk the bustling streets with rickshaw pullers, ride elephants with hunters, wash in the Ganges, pick tea in the hills, and join families for a traditional picnic. Since the earliest days of the movie camera, expatriates and travelers from Europe have filmed across the Indian sub-continent, witnessing extraordinary historic events and momentous change in the first half of the 20th century. At times touching, funny, and engaging, India on Film offers a ringside view of history in the making and a remarkable glimpse into a past way of life.
This program will offer viewers the chance to understand how India changed through the 1930s and up until independence in 1947. We’ll see films promoting successful leprosy missions, children’s education, and how India’s industry is booming as the century wears on. We’ll see the growing support for the first nationalist political group to emerge during the British Empire, as Gandhi led the Indian National Congress Party, and his famous salt march to the Gujarat coastal village of Dandi, breaking the British salt monopoly. We’ll witness Muslim refugees on route to Pakistan during Partition.
From the rise of the Moghul empire under Babur in 1526 to the setting of the sun on the British Raj in 1948, this program surveys four centuries of history during which India slowly but decisively shook off foreign rule. Expert commentary on the pivotal politico-military struggles between the Moghuls, the Afghans, Great Britain, and the Indians by Dr. David Hardiman, of Oxford University; Dr. David Washbrook, of Warwick University; and historian Rakesh Dayaz puts India’s centuries-long fight for independence into perspective
India, a rich amalgam of cultures and religions, bears the imprint of many civilizations. Beginning with the Stone Age, this comprehensive program unfolds India’s past, era by era, covering the Indus Valley civilization, the Vedic Age, the Mauryan empire, the Gupta Age, the southern kingdoms, the Muslim invasion, the Mogul and Maratha empires, the British Raj, and independence. The impact of India’s diverse religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Christianity—is also explored.
Muslims arrived in India the same year they entered Spain—and by the end of the 13th century ruled nearly all of the country. This program travels across India by way of Iran, Pakistan, and Maldives to examine the rich Islamic heritage of the region. The program also observes the Muslim way of life on the subcontinent as it exists today. Sites of note include the Taj Mahal, the Golkonda Fort ruins, and the Charminar monument.
This is a documentary about memory, history, and the possibility of reconciliation. It focuses on the partition of India in 1947, but derives lessons that remain urgently relevant today. Shot on both sides of the border - in modern day India and Pakistan - this film is a personal take on partition, rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another. It is written and directed by Mara Ahmed and co-produced by Surbhi Dewan. Both filmmakers are descendants of families torn apart by partition. The film is also a work of art infused with original animation, music, and literary writing.