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Jodhaa & Akbar, mysterious pair

Ex-Emperor Akbar felt the heat this week before the release of a film on his wife...or daughter-in-law, writes Indrajit Hazra.

entertainment Updated: Feb 09, 2008 03:06 IST
Indrajit Hazra

After keeping a low profile since the release of

Mughal-e-Azam

in 1960, ex-Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar found himself in a bit of bother before the release of Ashutosh Gowariker's film,

Jodhaa Akbar

next week. First, it was people fond of the Mughal emperor not being happy that the movie was produced by someone called 'Ronnie Screwvala'. Then it was the Rajput community, usually busy conducting the traditional

riyan

ceremony with opium, who felt insulted that the film depicted Jodhabai as Akbar's wife and not his son, Salim's wife. While the truth is still out there, Akbar remains in a tizzy. His week that was:

Saturday, Feb 2: William Dalrymple's a nice bloke, but he keeps on embarrassing me by calling me Jahapana. I told him to call me Akbar. But he insists on the lofty title.

Sunday, Feb 3: I heard the Samajwadi Party say something stupid again about Muslims. Which made me ask Mariam, that's Jodhabai, whether we faced this kind of playing to the gallery during my rule. She said that things were far better for Hindus then. I had to remind her that today Hindus are the more powerful majority. She sniggered and said, "What next? Having a Sikh ruler?"

Monday, Feb 4: It turns out that some historians are cheesed off with Ashutosh's film. But it turns out they were upset because the film shows Mariam as my wife and not as my daughter-in-law.

Tuesday, Feb 5: I met Ram Jethmalani to see if I could take the historians to court for slander. I consulted Salim, but it seems he's still upset with me about what I did to Anarkali. He asked Jethmalani to file a case against me!

Wednesday, Feb 6: I just learnt that the Rajputs are now upset about Jodha's depiction as my wife. I called up Maharani Padmini Devi of Jaipur who seemed to be completely on my side. But then, there Jaswant Singh came to meet me saying that it's all a Jat conspiracy.

Thursday, Feb 7: Went to a UTV Motion Pictures boardroom meeting. They now want the name Jodhaa-Akbar to be changed Ruqayya-Akbar.

Friday, Feb 8: The Samajwadi Party has heard of the change and is planning mass demonstrations.