Bollywood to revive Jhansi Ki Rani | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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Bollywood to revive Jhansi Ki Rani

Bollywood beauty Sushmita Sen, who will produce Jhansi Ki Rani, says the film on Queen Laxmi Bai will be India's answer to the story of Joan of Arc.

entertainment Updated: Aug 28, 2007 16:03 IST

A new Bollywood film will celebrate the life of a valiant Indian queen who fought British colonialists during the first war of independence 150 years ago.

Bollywood beauty Sushmita Sen, who will produce Jhansi Ki Rani (The Queen of Jhansi), says the film on Queen Laxmi Bai will be India's answer to the story of Joan of Arc.

"What a woman she was," Sen, a former Miss Universe, said of Bai who refused to submit her small northern Indian kingdom to the British. "She has been somehow sadly lost in the pages of history."

The gutsy queen, often represented in Indian history books as a sword-wielding, horse-riding warrior, challenged the British after they refused to recognise her adopted child as the heir to the throne.

Her revolt quickly became a key focus of a mutiny against the colonial rulers started by a handful of Indian soldiers.

After initial reverses, British troops quelled the revolt in four months. Thousands were killed on both sides.

"The world has seen and knows so much about Joan of Arc but our own Rani Lakshmi Bai has been forgotten," Sen said. "I will definitely take my film and Rani's courage and valour to the global audience."

Sen said she spent around two years researching the script for the film which will open in 2009.

Joan of Arc, a 15th century national heroine of France who was executed for heresy, followed what she said were divine orders to liberate her homeland from the English during the Hundred Years' War. She was canonised as a saint in 1920.