December 30, 2019, Mumbai: When Ajay Devgn announced his upcoming movie Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, by revealing his first look in 2017, many people were excited as well as curious to know more about the brave warrior. While most residents in Maharashtra know and have studied about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s one of the trusted warriors’, Tanaji Malusare’s, story many still were clueless about his dedication and courage.
A hero in Maharashtra, the Maratha warrior was a military commander in Shivaji’s army and played a pivotal part in the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. Though the victory was insignificant in Indian History, due to the ruler suffering few setbacks and losing 23 forts to the Mughals in the 1660s, it was amongst the first of Shivaji’s quest to reconquer his territory that led to the establishment of the Maratha Empire in 1674.
Known for his determination and courage, Tanaji postponed his son Raiba’s wedding, pledging he would get him married after his wins the fort back, and set off to conquer the Kondhana fort from the Mughals. History states that the brave warrior scaled the steep slopes of the Kondhana fort with the use of his pet Bengal Monitor Lizard, also known as Ghorpad in Marathi. As Tanaji lost his life during the battle, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj was quoted saying, “Gad ala, pan sinha gela” which means “fort was captured but the lion is lost” which was how Kondhana Fort was later named Sinhagad.
A few months ago the descendants of Tanhaji had objected to the film’s title, saying, “Every person from Maharashtra knows about Tanaji and his bravery. There is a lesson on him in our textbooks, then why is (the film) called as unsung warrior?” But it’s an unknown fact that outside Maharashtra, particularly in the northern part of India, Tanaji and his conquest of Kondhana Fort is hardly ever mentioned.
Talking about why he made a film on the warrior, Ajay Devgn has explained, “In Maharashtra, everyone knows about Tanhaji, but people in the north might not know much about him. But he fought for this nation.”
The actor went on to reveal why he wants to make a franchise on the other ‘Unsung Warriors’ like Tanaji. He said, “So the idea of this franchise is to honour the warriors and let the world know about their sacrifices. We have had great heroes and warriors and they can be an inspiration for all of us if we bring their stories out.”
Ajay Devgn starrer Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior produced by Ajay Devgn’s ADF and Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series, directed by Om Raut, will release on 10th January 2020.