Saif Ali Khan calls altered politics of Tanhaji a ‘dangerous’ idea: ‘I don’t think this is history’

By, New Delhi
Aug 28, 2020 01:56 AM IST

Saif Ali Khan opened up on the altered politics of films such as Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, accepting that they are not history.

Actor Saif Ali Khan has spoken about the altered political narrative of films such as Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, calling it an idea that has caught on but is ‘dangerous’. The actor plays Mughal general Udaybhan Rathod in the film, the nemesis of Maratha subedar Tanaji Malusare who was played by Ajay Devgn.

Saif Ali Khan played Udaybhan Rathod in Tanhaji: An Unsung Warrior.(IANS)
Saif Ali Khan played Udaybhan Rathod in Tanhaji: An Unsung Warrior.(IANS)

In an interview with journalist Anupama Chopra, Saif called the role “delicious” and said his issue with the film’s politics stems from an individual point of view and not as an actor.

“For some reason I didn’t take a stand… maybe next time I would,” Saif said, adding, “I was very excited to play the role because it’s a delicious role. But when people say this is history; I don’t think this is history. I am quite aware of what the history was.”

Tanhaji propagates the idea of Swaraj as early as the 17th century. “I don’t think there was a concept of India till perhaps the British gave it one. I don’t think there is really any constructive point in arguing about loudly, provided you yourself know why you’re doing it,” Saif, a self-confessed history buff, added.

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“History would be in the realm of the intelligent. Someone being taught that in schools today should not quote it internationally. They will be corrected and told that they are wrong,” he said.

Explaining why the Hindi film industry is making films such as Tanhaji, Saif accepted that ‘this is what runs’ and therefore an idea ‘that has caught on’. “I would really like to a part of a film industry that would take a stand that wouldn’t make mass kind of films like that. Films that would rather say ‘hey this is what history is’ rather than mould it to certain kind of belief. But people say that is what runs and that’s what’s given it the extra kind of bump, I mean it’s more than just action movie. There’s an idea there that seems to have caught on, but certainly a dangerous idea.”

Saif said it was unfortunate that artists and intelligentsia, supposed to be the most liberal and most informed voices in the country, were taking a populist approach. “It’s not great, but it is what it is,” the actor summed it up.

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