Bharat Mata Ki Jai

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"Bharat Mata Ki Jai"
Bharat Ek Khoj episode
Episode no. Episode 1
Episode chronology
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"The Beginnings"

"Bharat Mata Ki Jai" is the first episode of 1988 Indian historical drama Bharat Ek Khoj (Hindi: भारत एक खोज, Urdu: بھارت ایک کھوج, English: The Discovery of India) based on the book The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru that dramatically unfolds the 5000 year history of India from its beginnings to the coming of independence in 1947. Directed, written and produced by Shyam Benegal the drama was lensed by cinematographer V. K. Murthy for state-owned Doordarshan.


The scene opens with a panoramic visual of India and its colourful landscape. Occasionally, as Nehru reached a gathering, a great roar of welcome would greet him-‘Bharat Mata-Ki Jai’! He would ask the crowd what they meant by that cry, Who was this ‘Bharat Mata’, whose victory they wanted? Then not knowing how to answer, they would look at each other. At last a vigorous jat, wedded to the soil from immemorial generations, said that it was the dharti (the good earth) of India that they meant. What earth was it? Their particular village patch, or all the patches in the district or province, or in the whole of India? Nehru would then try to explain that India was all that they had thought and much more. The mountains, the rivers, the forests, and the broad fields which gave them food, but what counted ultimately was the people like themselves. Bharat Mata was essentially these millions of people, and victory to her meant victory to these people.

Travelling by train, the landscape and the landmarks flash past his eyes. Nehry wanders over to the Himalayas and sees the mighty rivers- the remote Brahmaputra, the Yamuna, and Ganga – that flow from the great mountain barrier into the plains of the country, from there, to the sea. India unfolds with its waterfall and rivulets and seas, with her richness of life and its renunciation, of growth and decay, of birth and death.

He visits old monuments at Ajanta, Ellora and the Elephanta caves. He sees the buildings of Agra and Delhi which tell the story of India’s past. At Saranath, near Banaras, he could almost hear the Buddha’s first sermon. The inscriptions on the Ashoka Pillar’s of stone speak to him. At Fatehpur-Sikri, he almost hears Akbar converse with the learned of all faiths. Slowly, the long panorama of India’s history unfolds itself before him with its triumphs and tragedies. To him, there is something unique about the continuity of a cultural tradition through 5,000 years of an unbroken history. Indian people feel pride and a special sensation when they say- "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".