TELLING the story of Indian Independence through the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi can be described as a perfect premise for a grand and gripping series. Today, Applause Entertainment, a Mumbai-based content studio, announced that it has acquired the rights to the two most definitive books on Gandhi — Gandhi Before India and Gandhi – The Years that Changed the World — authored by noted historian Ramachandra Guha. The series will feature actor Pratik Gandhi in the role of Mahatma.
Interestingly, Pratik Gandhi, who shot to nationwide fame for his riveting performance as stockbroker Harshad Mehta in the series Scam 1992, has prior experience of essaying the role of the great leader.
“Playing the role of Mahatma is very close to my heart ever since my theatre days and now it is a huge honour to yet again essay the role of this legendary leader, on screen. I believe it’s a huge responsibility to essay this role with dignity, grace and conviction and I can’t wait to embark on this journey,” said the 42-year-old actor, adding that he deeply believes “in Gandhian philosophy and his values” that echo simplicity in its purest forms.
He said, “Personally too, I strive to achieve and imbibe many of his qualities and teachings in my daily life.”
The series will be produced keeping the worldwide audience in mind and will be shot extensively across several Indian and international locations. From Mahatma Gandhi’s earliest days to his life in South Africa to the freedom struggle in India, the series promises to bring forth the lesser-known stories of his life, which played an important role in shaping young Gandhi into a Mahatma. It will also tell the stories of all his compatriots and contemporaries of the freedom movement. These incredible personalities, along with him, played an integral part in shaping modern India.
Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment, said: “We believe that only a richly-layered, multi-season drama series will do real justice to Gandhi and to all the great personalities that embed the proud and illustrious history of India’s freedom struggle. This is a story of the birthing of modern India for a global audience.”
Guha said he was delighted that his books on Gandhi are being adapted for an ambitious series. “Gandhi’s work transformed the world, and his legacy still sparks the most intense debates. His life was an epic journey, played out across three great countries: India,and South Africa. He fought nobly for freedom, for inter-faith harmony, and for the rights of the underprivileged…I am confident that it (the series) will bring the complex contours of Gandhi’s life and the moral essence of his teachings to viewers across the globe,” he said.