Stories about the colonization of India and British imperialism have existed for decades. But it’s time these stories are told by Indians themselves. Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur recently announced the purchase of the audio-visual rights to William Dalrymple‘s bestselling book, ‘The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of The East India Company’. Kapur’s production house, Roy Kapur Films, intends to adapt this book into a large-scale international production.
Both the original work and Kapur’s filmography suggest that this project has massive potential. ‘The Anarchy’, which traces two hundred years worth of history regarding The East India Company, has been lauded by the public and critics alike. The Guardian recognized that “the book’s real achievement is to take readers to an important and neglected period of British and South Asian history, and to make their trip there not just informative but as entertaining as an evening of poetry and music in a Delhi palace.” Former President Barack Obama listed ‘The Anarchy’ on his Top 10 Recommended Books of 2019.
Meanwhile, Kapur’s previous work in the film industry suggests he has a knack for bringing unique stories to life. In 2016, he produced Dangal, a high-grossing, heartwarming narrative about a young woman’s entry into the world of wrestling. He also produced The Sky Is Pink, a Priyanka Chopra Jonas starrer about a girl’s battle with a life-threatening disease. His 15 years in international cinema have set the bar for ‘The Anarchy’ rather high.
When asked about this latest project, Roy Kapur said:
“I believe that stories that are compelling, relevant and authentic have the potential to resonate with audiences across all nationalities and cultures. William Dalrymple’s epic tale of The East India Company is one such story. While a debate rages today around the world about the increasing power of giant corporations and powerful individuals to wield control over minds and nations, what could be more relevant to global viewers than the true story of the takeover of an entire subcontinent by a small trading company! We are delighted to be working with William to bring to life this fascinating tableau of incredible characters, each playing off the other in their quest to exercise dominion over what was then the richest subcontinent on the face of the Earth.”
Kanchan Naik is a rising senior at the Quarry Lane School in Dublin, California. Aside from being the Youth Editor at India Currents, she is also the Director of Media Outreach for Break the Outbreak, the Editor-in-chief of The Roar, and the 2019-2020 Teen Poet Laureate of Pleasanton.