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Begum Jaan: Impending B-Town project on the partition of India
It is often said that the price of partition has been payed by Punjab and Bengal. This statement reeks of the blood and guts spilled in the years following the partition of India along the borders and deep into the heartlands of the present Indian sates of Punjab and West Bengal.

Millions died, millions more fled the lands they called their home. Women and children were abducted, sold, raped and murdered. Families got uprooted and recuperated in strange new villages and cities where they remained abandoned and unloved for a generation. Authors from both sides of the border have chronicled these dark times in their works, from Ismat Chugtai and Sadat Hasan Manto to Khushwant Singh and Bapsi Sidhwa.

Rajkahini, a Bengali (period) feature film released in 2015, based on the plight of partition is set to be remade in Hindi for a much larger national audience. Srijit Mukherjee, director of the original is already working on the remake, his first ever project in Hindi, reportedly to be produced by Mahesh Bhatt. According to rumours the title role of Begum Jaan has been offered to Vidya Balan who will be stepping into the shoes of Rituparna Sengupta, the Bengali actress who played the lead in the original. While Rajkahini was set during the partition of Bengal, its Hindi remake will be set in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), in Punjab.

The film tells the story of the inmates of a 'whore house' that incidentally and quite fatally found itself sitting on top of the line that was drawn by Cyril Radcliffe's Boundary Commission, in charge of partitioning India. The story spans the horrid fate of these women, led by Begum Jaan, madam of the brothel in the larger context of mass exodus and bloodshed. A Hindi remake will bring back the lost memories of an amputated country to the mass conscience.

Apart from Vidya Balan playing the main protagonist in the title role of Begum Jaan, the film also stars Naseeruddin Shah and Gauhar Khan in prominent roles. Produced by Vishesh Films, Begum Jaan is scheduled for release on March 17, 2017.

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