TANTYA BHEEL – A story of forgotten martyr of independence war

Today we know many martyrs who fought against Britishers for Independence but tragedy is we do not know about many whose names are not in the History. One of them is Tantya Bheel, a fighter from Madhya Pradesh. Britishers were scared of him. He used to rob them and then was helping the poor people. That is why he was named Indian Robinhood.

But there is one person whose hero was Tantya Bheel from childhood. He is none other than ace producer-director Mukesh R. K. Chouksey. Now he has made the film TANTYA BHEEL which is unsung story of the martyr.

After graduation Mukesh came to Mumbai and assisted N. Chandra for his film ANKUSH. Then he assisted many directors like Keshav Matharu, Sudhanshu Kukku, Sanjeev Kolte etc. He produced and directed serial BHAGWAN SHREE SAHASTRA BHAU ARJUN for Doordarshan. He produced and directed RAAT EK ANHONI, HUM MILKAR DIKHAYENGE, YOUNG THE POWERFUL BLOOD in Hindi, KHOONI KAUN in Marathi and GUJARATNO SHURVEER in Gujarati. He made first film of Malwa language MHARO ANADI PIYA.

Talking to GLAMGOLD Mukesh said, “My grandfather had written about Tantya Bheel in 1950. After reading that I have decided to make a film on him so that today’s generation can know about him. I told my cousin Dr. Shivkumar Chouksey who stays in London to collect information about Tantya Bheel from British Library. I started working on the script with Sudarshan Azad and Yashwin Khadiwala.”

How tough it was to make a periodic film? Answers Mukesh, “It was really tough as such film can’t be made with small budget. Plus it needs lots of artists. After few days I started shooting with digital camera and casted few newcomers. One day chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Mr. Shivraj Chauhan heard about the film. So he called me and offered help whatever I need. When I met distributor of CIA, Sharad Yadav he also associated with the project. Because of his efforts I got producer Parmanand Sisodiya who decided to finance the film.”

Apart from directing the film Mukesh is also playing the central character of Tantya Bheel. He has a rare photograph of the martyr. Everybody thought he was best person to play the role after looking him in the gate-up of Tantya Bheel as the look was absolutely similar with that photograph.

The mahurat shot was given by Mr. Shivraj Chauhan. He honored heirs of the martyr Mangilal, Jitendra and Natthu with rupees eleven lacs to each. Mr. Chauhan gave instruction to rename Khandua Jail as Tantya Jail.

TANTYA BHEEL has been shot at real locations like Badauda Ahir, Khalkod, Degavmakhar, Patalpani etc. and was completed in 45 days.  The film has been made in Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Malwi, Mimohi and Bhojpuri. Music is given by Nasraj Dheemare, songs are sung by Udit Narayan and Altaf Raja. It also stars Kadar Khan, Pramod Mautho, Surendra Pal, Amrut Pal, Tarun Puri, Preeti Chouksey and Manish Yadav in pivotal roles.

Preeti Chouksey is playing Jhansi Ki Rani Laxmibai in the film. She said, “I am very happy to get this role. Once Rani was lost in the jungle of MP while fighting with Britishers. She meets Tantya Bheel’s Guruji who then sends Tantya with her to guide. This is the only part where two warriors met.” Preeti has done films like HUM MILKAR DIKHAYENGE, YOUNG THE POWERFUL BLOOD, MHARO ANADI PIYA in lead roles. Her next is children’s film NANHE FARISHTEY.

“I am happy that my dream of making film on TANTYA BHEEL has come true. Now people around the globe will come to know about great martyr like him,” concludes Mukesh.