Apart from the daily part and parcel of the Indian television milieu, that is, Saas – Bahu dramas, today, people have also developed an interest in enjoying the rich history of our nation. And to add spice to this newly born interest, TV serials like Chandragupta Maurya, Jhansi Ki Rani LaxmiBai, Veer Shivaji, Maharana Pratap and Jodha Akbar have contributed significantly. And now it’s been four months since another historical saga – Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat of Colors’channel was launched. With its richly planned plots and VFX, the serial has managed to grab thousands of eyeballs. But do all the incidents shown actually have a historical background? What I mean to say is, did such incidents actually take place? Or are they shown just for the sake of gaining TRP’s?
If you watch the Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat serial daily, you’ll get to see a few characters called Justin, the only son of Helena, the Greek wife of Chandragupta Maurya; and Noor, a wife of Bindusara with a Zoroastrian background. You’ll also come to know about Siyamak, who is Noor’s only son. And perhaps you’ll find that Justin and Noor are in a love relationship, even when Noor is married to Bindusara! Well, is this truth about history – or a TRP stunt, just to attract a larger part of the audience? Let’s clear it out through the following points.
How many sons did Chandragupta Maurya have?
Historically, it is a clear cut fact that Chandragupta Maurya had two sons – Keshnak and Bindusara. However, Jain texts say that Keshnak died just 3 days after his birth. And as for Bindusara, he too would have died had Chanakya not saved his life from poison, on the day when he was born. Born in 320 BC, he was taken out carefully from his dying mother’s womb. It is believed that Bindusara’s mother – Rani Durdhara, was the favourite wife of Chandragupta Maurya.
The history of Helena
After defeating the Macedonian king Seleceus I Nicator in the two years of battle (305-303 BC), Chandragupta and Seleceus had signed a treaty according to which Macedonian areas of Indus Valley Civilization region would go into Magadha’s hands in lieu of 500 war elephants. An intermarriage of Seleceus’ daughter Helena (believed name) with Chandradgupta was also a part of this alliance. So, it is widely believed that Chandragupta had married the Macedonian princess Helena, as shown in the serial.
Did Bindusara have a son called Justin?
The TV serial shows a character called Justin, the son of Helena and Chandragupta. He is shown to be elder to Bindusara. But now we know that the Seleceud-Mauryan war had taken place in 305-303 BC. So Helena must have married him after these years. And, as a matter of fact, Bindusara was born in somewhere around 320 BC. So how does Helena’s son Justin be elder to Bindusara as portrayed in the serial? Could it be any way possible? So was Justin a real person in actuality? Going by history, NO. There is no mention of Justin in ANY account of ancient Indian history.
Bindusara had a Zoroastrian wife called Noor?
Next, it is shown that Bindusara had a wife called Noor, the son of Mir Khorasan from Persia, the ancient homeland of Zoroastrians. According to the serial, Noor had a son called Siyamak. Now go through some of the important historical points: The two most prominent sons of Bindusara were Sushima (from Rani Charumitra) and Ashoka (from Rani Subhadrangi/Dhamma). Apart from them, he also had 5-6 other sons (not 99). And, there is seriously NO mention of Noor in Bindusara’s married life story. Perhaps, even her father Mir Khorasan does not have any citation in ancient texts. So how does she be such a prominent wife of Bindusara – and a prominent negative role player as well? Does her role have any historical reference to any queen? Well, NO.
Justin and Noor loved eacher other?
Also, Noor seems to be in love with Justin. And as per talks between the two, it becomes evident that Siyamak is Justin’s son, and not Bindusara’s! Understood? Now, what my doubtful mind asks is that does this love story really have a basis – I definitely mean a historical factual basis? Does this illegal love story have ANY proof? Well, absolutely not. It is extremely clear that the unjust love story of Justin and Noor is scripted to seek for TRP’s. And playing with those fictional characters resulted in their unjust son called Siyamak.
So, it is completely evident that Noor and Justin – both are totally fictional. So what about their love story? False! It would be a total waste of time if we watch such stories which quite resemble the awful things which happen in serials of nowadays.
Fiction being told as History retold.
So, through this whole article, what I exactly want to convey is that, the historical serial is definitely amazing in terms of picturisation, budget and VFX, but in terms of history, it is, well… TRASH. The makers of the serial agree to the fact that Justin, Noor, Mir and maybe Siyamak – all of these are highly FICTIONAL. However, the serial has launched itself under the genre of “historical fictional” series. So, we as audience have no rights to go against the plots. But I want to ask that, if we are shown such a high amount of baseless fiction in these historical sagas, then why should we bother to watch them – when they cannot show something REAL? Why should we mix fiction with fact just in the name of TRP’s? Why should we play with the authenticity of our history?
A whole generation may start believing all the events shown as true. A serial based on historical days is meant to portray the richness of our ancient culture, and not the same stupid things which other saas – bahu dramas show. The historicals of today are only 30% to 40% truth and 60% to 70% falsified and fictional, showing just romance, awful stories of revenge, jealousy, fake characters and what not. They have nothing new to offer.
So, dear the die-hard fans of the serial, would you still keep watching it even after knowing the truth? I leave it for you to decide. Please don’t forget to make comments below!
By Jayant Sen