Maharaja Duleep Singh, was the last king of the Sikh Empire, the youngest son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the only child of Maharani Jind Kaur. Upcoming film The Black Prince, envisioned and picturized with great precision by director Kavi Raz, is the truest projection of his life.
Least we know is that Maharaja Duleep Singh was a quintessential English country gentleman, having closest terms with Queen Victoria. But, the reality is, that Maharaja’s life was rather a tragic and ironical one.
A man, who was born to a Sikh family, to rule as a king; he died impoverished and broke. After the assassination of his four predecessors, Maharaja Duleep Singh came into power at a tender age of 5. Later, he was dethroned and exiled from his own kingdom. Forcefully separated from his mother, and relinquished his Sikh religion to become a Christian. He met his mother Maharani Jind Kaur after 13 years and during the last 2 years of her life she told him about the rich Sikh heritage he belonged to, and the kingdom which had once been to his rule.
All his life, he struggled to regain his true identity and revolted against the British for the freedom of his kingdom, which was conquered by them. He breathed his last in Paris in 1893. His wish for his body to be returned to India was not honored fearing the agitation it would have caused, given the symbolic value of the funeral of the son of Sher-e-Punjab.
Therefore, his mortal remains were brought back to England, and he was buried according to Christian rites in Elveden Church.
It’s a soul-shattering story of a man who was born as a Sikh, but couldn’t die as a Sikh; He was born as a Sikh but his last rites weren’t observed according to his religion.
The movie releases on 21st July 2017 in 3 languages- English, Hindi, and Punjab.
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