Television

Discovery special showcases communal harmony in Punjab

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MUMBAI: This should provide a welcome break to those fed up with watching the likes of Tagodia creating trouble between communities.



A Discovery India special examines a small town in east Punjab, Malerkotla, where Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs have lived in harmony for over five centuries.



The one hour special A Legend Of Malerkotla: A Tale from the Punjab airs on 17 January at 9 pm in the Discover India slot with a repeat on 18 January at 9 am and on 22 January at 12 Noon. After India achieved independence in 1947 Punjab was the worst hit by this ethnic frenzy. In this mayhem, there was only one island of peace in Punjab, and that was the tiny Muslim ruled principality of Malerkotla.



The special has been made by filmmakers, Iqbal and Anu Malhotra and features interviews with some of the residents who reminisce about the days following 15 August 1947. Violence was visible across the border but never percolated to Malerkotla. The special captures their stories, interspersed with recreated enactments of the scenes of violence in Punjab,says a channel press release.



Discovery India marketing director Aditya P Tripathi said, "In response to the growing popularity of the Discover India series, the Discovery Channel presents a new season of interesting programmes that depict the country's multiple facets. A Legend Of Malerkotla will appeal to all secular Indians, especially to viewers in Punjab and Haryana. In the coming months, we plan to bring in more such programmes for the Discover India series."



Legend has it that for centuries, the town has been peaceful because of the special boon bestowed upon it by Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the Sikh Gurus. Others feel that it is simply the presence of the shrine of Baba Sadruddin, popularly known as Baba Haidar Sheikh, the Sufi saint, who founded the town of Malerkotla more than 500 years ago. Never in the town's history has communal dissent disturbed the prevailing peace.

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