The 2008 Bollywood film, Jodhaa Akbar, portrays a story about an alliance between the third Mughal emperor of India, Akbar and a Hindu Rajput princess Jodhaa. However, the film shows more than a mere love story between the two nobles, but rather it subtly touches on the virtues of pluralism and tolerance, both of which embody modern day India. As stated by Shahnavaz Khan, “It is as much about India’s present as it is about the past.” Her statement supports the theory that political goals and history can have a great effect on people in modern life. By portraying him in a more positive light through his noble qualities as well as making him more relatable to the mainstream population, this film remembers Akbar. He is a leader recognized as a symbol of pluralism and religious tolerance, both of which still exist today as integral parts of India’s society and politics.
Akbar was one of the most influential and perceptive rulers of his time. He spent a tremendous amount of time promoting himself as a political, spiritual and judicial leader in India. Akbar’s goal was to maintain an organized government, establish a new capital and make alliances to generate a long lasting legacy of the imperial system. For instance, his goal to maintain an organized government is seen in the movie at the court when he makes important decisions about the taxes and welfare of his kingdom. His charismatic nature developed and kept the alliances between Hindus and Muslims. His willingness to do anything for the safety of his subjects and his open-mindedness in court helped him realize his goal of becoming a great ruler. All of his actions to create strategies to rise in power and act as an authoritative figure made him a powerful leader of the Mughal Emp...
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...odhaa Akbar is based on the renowned emperor Akbar during the Mughal era, the film mainly highlights the Hindu-Muslim relationship between the Mughals and the Rajputs. It only focuses on issues and concepts that are huge part of mainstream Indian society today and continuously stresses Akbar’s policy of religious tolerance. His goal to maintain an organized government and his attitude of religious secularism is what distinguished him from the rest of the emperors. As a result, it helped him create a long lasting legacy of religious tolerance and a positive image of himself in the eyes of the historians and Indians today.
Richards, J.F. Kingship and Authority in South Asia. Delhi. Oxford University Press. 1998
Khan, Shahnaz. Recovering the past in Jodhaa Akbar: Masculinities, Femininities and Cultural Politics in Bombay Cinema. Feminist Review. 2011
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