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Bollywood has entered a new era of filmmaking, where if its heroes aren't men in uniforms from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, they are portraying characters from the Age of Empires. The only problem is, at least Age of Empires tried to be somewhat accurate. 

1. Samrat Prithviraj

The latest in a long line of historical fanfictions that Bollywood produces these days, has Prithviraj killing Muhammad of Ghor. While the film indulges in many fantasies that are as far away from history as is Akshay Kumar from actresses his own age, one of the biggest blunders it commits is messing up the timelines. Ghori died in 1206, while Prithviraj died in 1192. 

Samrat Prithviraj
Source: Indian Express

2. Kesari

While the film claims to be an accurate historical account of what happened at the battle of Saragrahi, the truth is far from it. Mind you, there is no dispute that 21 soldiers of the 36th Sikh regiment at Saragarhi in 1897 did give their lives in the line of duty. There are many inaccuracies in the film. 

Kesari inaccuracies
Source: India Today

In the film, a burning Gurmukh Singh emerges from the tower, grabs Gul Badshah, the leader of the Orakzais, and sets fire to his gunpowder reserve, killing him. But Gul Badshah wasn't actually killed in the battle. Nor was Mullah Hadda, the cleric according to the history books gave the call for jehad against the British in the Tirah valley. However, in the film, he is stabbed to death by Akshay Kumar’s character. As a matter of fact, this is just one of the many gross violations of history the film indulges in. 

Kesari inaccuracies
Source: India Today

3. Padmaavat

You might remember this film from the time half the angry mobs in the country wanted to behead Deepika Padukone. Yup, that very film. Again, the film's portrayal of Khilji is highly Islamophobic and sees him as a barbarian, something that is contrary to evidence. Oh, and here's the real kicker. 

While Khilji is an actual historical figure, most historians are of the opinion that Padmaavati didn't even exist, to begin with. The character comes from an epic poem, Padmaavat, by 16th-Century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, who himself described the work as fiction.

Source: Koimoi

4. Asoka

The movie can be quite entertaining to be honest and is peak Bollywood of the 2000s. But the portrayal of Asoka, the Maurya Kingdom, Buddhism and Asoka's love interest Kaurawaki is about as real as the Undertaker dying and returning from the dead 7 times in the WWE. 

Source: Pinkvilla

5. Panipat

Another period drama with a big budget and a liberal bashing of Muslim historical figures, this Sanjay Dutt film truly erases the already blurry lines between facts and fiction in this country. For example, Abdali, played by Sanjay Dutt is shown as a ruthless warlord who liked using the Kohinoor to smash the face and heads of the people he killed. That is no historical account of this ever happening. 

History without context is a recipe for propaganda. For example, Abdali is shown as an intruder with a lust for blood, which is technically not untrue but that was the medieval ages and loot and plunder was basically the law of the land. 'Non-intruders' from one part of India used to wage war and murder innocents from other parts of the country at the time because the concept of an 'India' did not exist back then. 

Source: BBC

6. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

In a market, where religious nationalism has become an ingridient to make up for the lack of research, scripts and good acting, Ajay Devgn has become a prime candidate to replace Akshay Kumar, should the Indo-Candadian actor choose to pursue a full time career as a political interviewer. 

To be fair to the film, it does provide a disclaimer at the beginning about some history and personalities being altered. But the portrayal of Mughals as invaders is a running theme in the film, despite glaring historical evidence pointing out that pretty much of them with the exception of its founder, were born in India to Indian parents, often sharing direct bloodlines with old Indian kings. 

At the beginning of the film, we are told that pitting a Hindu (Rajput) against a Hindu (Maratha) was Aurangzeb's greatest trick. But without context, you wouldn't know that this was a century after the Rajput assimilation into the Mughal administrative mansabdari system. The film shows Devgn sitting beside a fluttering bhagwa dhwaja with an Om on it. It serves only one purpose, to make Hindus look visibly Hindus, for the Maratha flag never had anything of such design printed on it. 

Source: Rediff

7. Jodhaa Akbar

While Jodhaa Akbar isn't a violent expression of its filmmaker's patriotism, it does take far too many liberties with its characters. For starters, Akbar didn't have a wife by the name of Jodhaa Bai. Many historians have even claimed that Jodhaa was married to Jehangir, Akbar's son. But historical distortions have never let Ashutosh Gowarikar shy away from making period dramas. 

Jodhaa Akbar
Source: Twitter

At this point, if I start poking holes into every period drama made in the last 5-6 years, you will have to refresh this page way too many times to get to the end of the article. Oh, and don't even think for a second that the historical inaccuracies in the films mentioned above are the only inaccuracies they have. But that's just the country we live in now and that's just the films we love to watch.


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