Friday, 30 March 2007

Thermopylae Vs Saragarhi

I've just watched Hollywood's adaptation of the battle of Thermopylae - "300". If you go to watch it for just the battle scenes then you will not be disappointed. The battle scenes are awesome, and mind blowing. If you can drown out the Scottish accents that the Spartans have somehow managed to pick up, then its a bonus.

I'm a little disappointed in the portrayal of the Persian empire, who are shown to be something out of a freak show gone terribly wrong. There's no doubt the the Spartans fought against great odds to hold up the inevitable Persian invasion, but this movie does exaggerate some details of the battle (in typical Hollywood style). I even caught some interview of cast and crew on tv the other day, and they were saying how the Spartans saved western civilisation and democracy etc., which again is over the top. They made the Persian empire out to be some backward, mystical, black magic practicing, savages. King Xerxes is made out to be an absolute freak show himself. The Greeks are shown defeating and outmaneuvering the Persian army, even though the Persians bring beasts that never existed to the fight.

Now compare this act of bravery to that of those 21 Sikhs from the 36th Sikh Regiment in Saragarhi. Unesco has described the Battle of Saragarhi as one of eight stories of collective bravery. Over the past few days i have been trawling the net to find some information on the battle from a source which is not Indian or Sikh. Unfortunately i have not been able to do so as yet. It does seem that this act has been forgotten by the colonial masters, even though at the time of the battle apparently there was a standing ovation in the house of commons for these soldiers.

It would be great if this battle could be re enacted on the big screen, produced by a big production house, so that the whole world could also get a chance to see the bravery of those 21 men who chose to die fighting rather than surrender.


Anonymous said...

A phenominal battle without doubt. I learned of it by accident when discussing greatest last stands with friends in the CDN military. This must qualify as history's greatest last stand, especially when considering the odds involved (over 400 to 1)! No glory taken from the 300 at Thermopylae, but Saragarhi outdoes them all. My hat is off to these brave soldiers.

Vivek Sathe said...

Absolute Standing Ovation...all those soldiers deserve... I also happened to get to know about this event just by chance in one video posted by by Friend on Facebook. Here is link of the video on youtube it refers to some place in Franch which is possibly teaching this story in their courses somewhere .... I have not found the reference of that yet.