New Delhi: Rare archival material and footage have been used to bring alive history and narrate the story of the birth of independent India besides commemorating the nation's 69th Independence Day in a new TV special.
"India Emerges: A visual history" upcoming on Discovery Channel showcases the country's journey from being the jewel in an imperial crown to emerging as an independent nation.
The three-part series scheduled to air from August 14 - August 16, attempts to place viewers at the epicentre of the story of contemporary India and also marks 20 years of the Discovery Channel in the country.
The show spans the period of the British Raj in India, and winds its way through tumultuous decades of the freedom movement. It talks about the battles of 1948, 1965 and 1971, the regime of
Indira Gandhi, the period of Emergency, and Operation Blue Star among others.
Exclusive footage is set to take viewers to the stroke of midnight and also along new borders where a devastating partition unfolds.
"It's a proud moment for us as we complete 20 glorious years in India. What further amplifies the excitement is we celebrate this day on the 69th year of our independence," says says Rahul Johri, EVP and GM South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.
"Marking this momentous occasion, we are happy to bring forth a programme that will narrate the stories of India and its emergence. The special line-up will revive the many memories of independence and unveil some of the intriguing facts of India's freedom," he says.
The first episode 'The Raj' narrates an era that predates the idea of India as a single entity, when a fractious political landscape was ripe for the colonial ambitions of European imperialists.
Through the 17th and 18th centuries, the film tracks the rising influence of the British East India Company, from purely mercantile to political, until finally in the 19th century, when the Queen Victoria officiated the transfer of power from 'Company to Crown'.
The second episode 'March Towards Freedom' narrates the birth of India.
The programme takes viewers back to the days of the British and traces the rise of resistance movements in India besides tracking track parallel events unfolding across the world including the World War II.
Exclusive footage of the mass rallies where leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Maulana Azad urge the people towards non-violent struggle and the demand for 'Swaraj' are included. Rare archives take viewers into the chambers of Savarkar's Hindu Mahasabha and round table meetings of the Jinnah-led Muslim League.
In the final episode titled "A Nation Is Born" uses extensive and exclusive footage to take viewers through the phenomenal journey of how the two nations India and Pakistan were formed along the Radcliffe line.
The archived footage also highlights the White House reels of Jacqueline Kennedy's visit to India help trace India's steady upward rise in the global arena.