Bharat Ek Khoj, directed and written by Shyam Benegal, is easily one of the most interesting shows ever produced by Doordarshan. And it is now available on YouTube for the entertainment of viewers and history buffs across the world.
The show is based on the book Discovery of India, which was written by Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his imprisonment by the British at Ahmednagar Fort in Maharashtra.
The series exposes watershed moments in the history of the Indian civilisation and is an insightful view into the pluralist nature of our country.
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It was produced in 1988 and traces the 5000-year history of India, up until the country attained freedom in 1947. It is shot in the style of a documentary but also includes dramatic recreation of certain scenes.
The 53-episode long series is narrated by Om Puri and anchored by Roshan Seth, who plays the role of Nehru. The series has a star studded ensemble cast, which includes critically acclaimed actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Alok Nath, and Mohan Gokhale. The show helped launch the careers of 350 actors, most of whom had a background in theatre.
According to reports, Benegal hired 15 historians, along with six scriptwriters, to make sure the show was historically accurate. It took four years of research, scripting and production to make the show. The cast and crew took another year and a half to finish shooting.
You can watch all 53 episodes here.