Ever since the historical drama, Jodha Akbar, premiered on TV on June 18, 2013, it has been mired in controversy.
But after protests from regional outfits regarding the authenticity of the story, producer Ekta Kapoor has now decided to pull out of the show altogether.
Since February 17, Ekta and her mother Shobha Kapoor’s names (producers) — that always featured in the opening and closing credits — have been missing from the show’s credits.
Ekta confirms the news, saying, "It is true that we have decided to back out as producers for the show as a gesture of goodwill as we have immense love and respect for the Rajput community."
Soon after the show went on air in 2013, a Jaipur-based outfit called the Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS) claimed it is distorting historical facts. They demanded that the show be taken off air.
Lokendra Singh Kalvi, the founder patron of SRKS, had said, "A marriage of convenience between the Mughal emperor Akbar and an imaginary Rajput princess, Jodha, is historically incorrect."
Later, an organisation called the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha too protested outside Ekta’s office as they felt Akbar was shown belittling Rajputs on the show. Back then, Ekta had said, "I always believe it (the story of Jodha and Akbar) is 80 per cent history and 20 per cent folklore."
Even the August 2013 release of Ekta’s movie Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbaai Dobaara was affected by the protests. It was only after she promised to change the title of her show that she was allowed to release the movie in Rajasthan. However, the name was not changed.
Although the channel remained unavailable for comment, sources from the channel claim that this news is untrue, and that they were still in talks with Ekta regarding the matter.
At the time of going to press, when we contacted Ekta again, she only said, "We are still in talks, but we have officially removed our name from the show."