Benegal's 'Samvidhaan' to go on air in January Entertainment/Cinema

Indo Asian News Service
23 September 2013

Mumbai, Sep 23 (IANS) Master craftsman Shyam Benegal is shooting "Samvidhaan" and the 10-part mini series on the making of the Constitution of India will go on air in January next year.

"This is the most important series, which tells the story of how our democratic constitution came into being," Benegal told reporters at a press meet at Film City where the filmmaker has erected a replica of the Central Hall of Parliament to shoot "Samvidhaan".

"We started shooting from Aug 16 and have almost shot for 60 percent. This is a 10 episode show and I would like it if it is a five days a week show because the continuity is very important," added Benegal, known for making films like "Bhumika: The Role", "Junoon" and "Kalyug".

"Samvidhaan" will capture the debates that took place from 1946 and 1949 to draft the constitution. The mini series will be aired on Rajya Sabha TV but the time slot is yet to be decided.

"We have completed all the portions of the assembly series and now we will shoot the outdoor portions. We have recreated a set which is a replica of Central Hall of Parliament," said Benegal.

The writers of the project are Shama Zaidi and Atul Tiwari. While Atul Tiwari remembers meeting a few member of the constituent assembly, Shama Zaidi's father was himself one of the members.

"The last surviving member, who sat between 1946 and 1949 to make the constitution, died in 2008," said Zaidi, who heard stories of those times from her father.

For her, being a part of 'Samvidhaan' was quite a challenge.

"In nearly a 50-year-long career in the arts, I had never had such an opportunity that was also a challenge. It was exciting and scary because you had to maintain the integrity of the story without losing the elements of drama and entertainment," said Zaidi.

Being produced by Rajya Sabha TV, "Samvidhaan" will see powerful performers like Sachin Khedekar as B.R.Ambedkar, the chief draftsman of the Constitution of India, Dalip Tahil as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and co-writer Tiwari as Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant.

Rajesh Badal, executive director, Rajya Sabha Television, describes it as a historic moment in Indian cinematic history.

"This is a story of the pain and struggle, the passion and the compassion, the fights and the camaraderie that went into making the Constitution of India. It is a dramatization and fictionalisation without losing the facts," said Badal.

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