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Visions of India: how film and TV romanticises life after the Raj

The Black Prince, written by Indian-born British actor Kavi Raz, deals with another little-known relationship likely to make nostalgists for the Raj feel queasy, this time between Victoria and Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last ruler of a Sikh empire. In 1849, Punjab was annexed to British India and the boy prince removed from his throne, placed under the guardianship of an army surgeon. Singh was cut off from his language, religion and culture, and eventually converted to Christianity.
Maharajah league omission … Amanda Root and Satinder Sartaaj in The Black Prince.
“What’s striking is that the British government treated him terribly, but throughout his life, there was a relationship of great fondness between him and Queen Victoria,” says The Black Prince producer Jasjeet Singh.
“What we hope is to give proper weight to the terrible things the British did,” says the film’s co-producer Asa Singh Dhaliwal, “but at the same time from a British point of view – and I consider myself British – the film can be enjoyed not as nostalgia but as showing what really happened and yet has never been put on screen before.”
It’s a good point, since seeing what really happened might just help shake Britons out of the cosy sense of nostalgia and wish-fulfilment that dominates too many of our dramas about India. Read full article here
The Black Prince is in cinemas on 21 July.