Revisiting India’s Television Debut

I am pleased to announce the launch of a project that I have been working on for the last couple of months: Kingmaker, a television show on Indian political history, written by me and produced by the very talented Rishi Sinha. The show chronicles sagas of men and women jostling to get to the highest office in the land – the post of Indian Prime Minister- how they got there and how they stayed there. This show is about political struggles and palace intrigues, persons who tried to attain power and others who paved the way for them.

We began our story in the 1960s, with the first power struggle of Independent India – ascent of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the throne. We plan to end it with the arrival of the UPA Government in 2004. All in all, the show will run for ten episodes, covering the political backstory of every prime minister since Shastri.

The show is on a new Hindi news channel called Focus News on Friday nights at 9:00 pm and Saturday nights at 7:00 pm. You can watch one of the episodes right here:

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Beginnings

India is a land of thousand myths but no memory. We, as a people, have absolutely no recollection of our past, only mangled fantasies and half-true gossips. May be one of the greatest tragedies of the nation is that its tragedies and triumphs have faded away from the public consciousness, replaced by only hazy legends and complete apathy.

Of course, India does not stand alone in misunderstanding its history or reinterpreting its past to suit to contemporary political or nationalistic needs. Glorifying catastrophes and turning heroes into villains or vice versa has been a long-standing sleight of hand employed in countries around the world.

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