The film Ponniyin Selvan: I, also known as PS-I, has hit the theatres. This Tamil language period-action epic drama is set in the 10th century when South India was under the prosperous rule of the Chola Dynasty. And I’m so thrilled to finally see somebody covering OUR HISTORY.
But wait, what exactly is our history?
Spare me for that ludicrous statement, but this is what a journalist said during a media interaction with the PS-I team. A clip from the interview has gone viral on Twitter.
After a shoddy job at researching ‘OUR HISTORY,’ he was concerned about why it took Indian films so long to discover OUR culture and history when we already have films about the Mughals and THEIR history. In response to this peculiar question, actress Sobhita Dhulipala offered a history lesson of a lifetime.
This binary of OURS versus THEIRS does not hold because it’s blurry. Because history is in fact, fluid. Mughals are very much a part of OUR history, so are the dynasties in the Delhi Sultanate, so is the British Empire, so is the Chola dynasty, the Pandya dynasty, the Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, and on and on. Bangladesh and Pakistan are very much a part of our history. And we’re theirs. So, where do you draw the line when the name ‘India’ itself was popularized much later in OUR HISTORY?
Twitter lauded the actress for a much-needed fact-check.
Can we draw lines basis our subjective notions and interpretations of history and copyright it? Can we really bifurcate history, claiming this one is ours and that is theirs when world history is, in fact, so intermingled?