Recalling one television serial of early 90’s - “Bharat ki Chhap”

Recalling one television serial of early 90’s - “Bharat ki Chhap”

 For the fifteen years of life, starting immediately after school, I went to sea on voyages doing what?  Perhaps, the measurement of the globe, and that of my own expedition to search for a new one. Although, geographically the world had already been discovered completely well before the time I came to sea, I believed there was still much left to discover, at least personally for myself.

 The long voyages gave me enough time to browse through the diaries that I would write privately when I was at school. Oh by the way, I have not given up that habit even to this day. And so sometimes, I feel amazed with my own memory of how it sometimes succeeds in keeping almost a photographic record of events and occurrences and pops back at me every now and then, just by a random search. Or maybe, while it is dusting down its library where it keeps all those records.

 One such good memory that I wish to share with you all is about one television serial which used to be aired as far back as 1991-92. I am sure you all, too, must have seen this serial but hardly any of you may recall it, even if I tell you its name. 

 It was called "Bharat ki Chhap". 

 It was just a small 13 episode serial, which was basically of a genre hitherto unknown to all. It was a docu-drama , something which could gain currency only with the arrival of OTT platforms.

 Anyway, whatever little memories I had about this tele serial, Bharat Ki Chhap , from those, I could remember it very clearly that the first , inaugural , episode was presented by none other than Professor Yashpal , who was also one of the celebrated presenter in those times, for another well renowned serial, science based, called as TURNING POINT .

 Prof Yashpal, I knew from my own repository of current affairs, was the Chairman of the UGC, the government agency which would participate in promulgation of the scientific knowledge and the scientific temper in the Indian society.

 Bharat Ki Chhap used to air in the prime slot of 9am to 10am, on Sundays , a slot which was occupied by none other than the megalith, tele serials such as RAMAYAN and MAHABHARAT , broadcast just a little before .

 My good fortune came by when I succeeded in making a second discovery of this serial on Google , during the lockdown phase of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

 Although I am on a job profile which never underwent any lockdown related closing, forget the Work-from-home routine which most of other people might have experienced, because we are reserved for the essential services, yet under the lockdown-drawn emotional experience of reliving the era of the 90's, I used to search down this old , bygone , tele serial.

 I want to just share some information with you all about the serial, all its episodes that are preserved with one government agency called the Vigyan Prasar, fallig under the ambit of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

 One important gist of the story from this serial, that I carried in my heart, was that our great country India, surely did make some contributions in the field of Mathematics and Astronomy during its golden era. But there surely is a lobby sitting which has some vested interest in misleading the masses about the exact weightage of those contributions to the entire repository of knowledge held with the mankind.

 For example, this agenda driven lobby may never inform the common people how the great Mathematician Aryabhatt was actually a very despised person during his own existence, within his society. And why so, that surely will never come to your critical examination, lest it exposes all that hyper-congratulatory, euphoric mood that the lobby has constantly striven to set within you, hoping to make some gains out of it.

 Bharat Ki Chhap has all contents, presented as far back as, the early 90's. Can you imagine that ....?

 This is one serial which just doesn't speak, as mere piece of information, what did India contribute in the Great Legend of Zero, but it even goes into the details of it explaining how did the Indians chance upon it, and how useful and revolutionising contribution it may have been with reference to the epoch in which it may have been made.

 I bet you will never find any other program so critical, so informative and at the same time, so exhilarating to the true Indians who may value the Middle Path Of Life , a philosophical lesson taught to the entire world by another great Indian, Gautam Buddha by name. 

 On the critical side, intended to offset the disbalance that this vested interest lobby keeps inducing in the weightage of India's contribution in Mathematics and Astronomy, in one of the episodes of the TV serial, it is told that the famous Jantar Mantar, although credited to be built by the Rajput Ruler, Raja Jai Singh, was built under the patronage received from the then Mughal prince Dara Shikoh.

 This fact informs us how advanced was the Astronomy in India with respect to most other civilizations of contemporary era. It also informs to us about how the Muslim rulers and the Hindu Kings had joined hands in pursuit of the difficult field of Science and Mathematics.

 But a while later, the tele serial proceeds to correct up our thoughts by telling that despite all the advancement, one must not forget the influence it may have received from Europe, because there was a flourishing trade relations with them. And that Raja Jai Singh was born in the year when, far away in Europe, Isaac Newton was getting his famous book 'Principia Mathematica' published.

 So huge was the gap in the advancement of science and technology between India and Europe. The European navigators were already starting to have a miniaturised, handheld versions of that scientific instrument which here in India, Raja Jai Singh and Dara Shikhoh were just beginning to produce, in a big, unhandy replica, made in bricks and stone, addressed as Jantar Mantar.

 Many of the presenters in this TV Serial were actual ground researchers; and quite many of them belonging to the famous Deccan University of Nagpur and Pune.

 The renowned historian of India, Mr Irfan Habib can also be seen, in his youthful age, in some of the episodes. The shooting for the serial was done in the year 1989.

 Almost all the episodes have been shot after a real, ground visit of the places, the practices and they show the real, museum worthy camera footage of those ancient, traditional methods which may have become extinct nowadays. I can speak about the method of making iron in ancient times, which, for example, has been shown with such fervour . Same goes for some methods of Ayurveda based medical treatments, which I am sure, may no longer be in practice.

 This serial, I may say with quite a conviction, was the most balanced tele serial produced in the subject matter of Archeology, History, Science and Culture.


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