Heritage British Heritage To Support Production On The Maharaja

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Sep 16, 2004

British Heritage to support production on the Maharaja
Chandigarh, September 4

British Heritage to support production on the Maharaja
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
Maharaja Ranjit Singh has long captured the imagination of creative artists across Punjab. But now the inspiration is travelling far and wide.
At least so it seems from the hectic efforts which Mr Tejinder Singh, a non resident Indian from London has been putting in to formalise the outline of a project that he and his team of theatre practitioners dreamt of. He is in India, specifically Punjab, these days to finalise the project that is massive both in scale and scope. At its heart is Maharaja Ranjit Sing — one of the finest emperors who ever walked the soil of India.
Titled “The Last Emperor of India: Maharaja Ranjit Singh”, the docu-drama has managed to rope in reputed institutions like the British Heritage (a society that promotes priceless traditions of communities living in England) and the Victoria Albert Museum.
To be raised at a whopping cost of £ 200,000, the drama aims to invoke in the modern generation a sense of history and respect for those who wrote it.
In an interaction with The Tribune at the Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16 today, Mr Tejinder Singh who has held meetings with Gulshan Grover, Manoj Bajpai, Nirmal Pandey and Sushant Singh for the role of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, said, “As the founder member of Punjabi Theatre Academy in the UK, I have had the opportunity to work on themes that bind continents. We use art to promote an understanding between ethnic communities inhabiting London.
Together with Indians, Pakistanis and Britons, we weave inspiring tales from our countries and present them to youngsters who have never had the opportunity to experience the past. The project on Maharaja Ranjit Singh has a similar objective. We want to talk about true secularism which Maharaja Ranjit Singh preached and practiced. In his 40 years of rule, none was hanged, nor was any faith favoured.”
Although research on the project has been on for a while, Mr Singh and his team have been looking for exclusive profiles of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that might be housed in the Punjab Archives Department.
“We want to run an exhibition of the Maharaja’s photographs and his times as we screen the docu-drama in London. We have got a lot of information on the subject from the Victoria Albert Museum and the British archives, but we want some more from Punjab. For that, we will be meeting some officials in the state government shortly,” Mr Singh said, adding that the production in its final form will have actors of Pakistani as well as British descent.
The idea is to integrate nationalities and tell the tale of a man who celebrated festivals of all communities. Mr Singh will be in Chandigarh for a while to screen talent for his production. After the basic selection of the cast is done, rehearsals will begin at the Watermans Art Centre, located on the Thames river in London. Till then, the team will be travelling across Punjab to get the feel of the land which Maharaja Ranjit Singh enriched with his enterprise


Jun 1, 2004
Sat Shri Akal ji,

Sub. Anglo-Punjabi Heritage Project –‘Lion of Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh’

I have seen my article on your web site regarding Maharaja Ranjit Singh's live performances in London 2006. My name isTejinder Pal Singh and I am working on this project from the last 2 years as a project director.

The reason I went to India was to conduct more research and meet relevant organizations who can support and help in this project. Also we require some talents from India who can share their talents and give much more appreciated guidance for our production on the stage in March 2006. Punjabi Theatre Academy, UK(PTA) is working on the Maharaja Ranjit Singh’ docu-drama “Lion of Punjab” project with the support of Heritage Lottery Fund, London Borough of Ealing, Hounslow, V&A museum, BBC Sport and Watermans Arts Centre, London.

As you know, this project provides us with great opportunities to explore the values of the Punjabi heritage in today’s society. We are proud to unfold the story of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Life on the British stage and convey his message accross the globe through network media.

On behalf of PTA we would like your good wishes and blessing for this project. It would be a great honour for us if you would send us your comments and feedback about this project: your comments will be really valuable to us.

With regards.

Yours Truely,

T P Singh
Excutive Director
e-mail punjabitheatre@aol.com

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