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Story of India Previous Broadcasts

Freedom (Episode #106H)

KQED Plus: Mon, Jun 17, 2019 -- 10:00 AM

The final episode relates how a foreign multinational (the East India Company) thousands of miles away gradually and almost by chance took power over great swaths of the Indian subcontinent; how, after the horrendous shock of the 1857 "Mutiny," the British state took over and turned this supremacy into the Raj, the jewel in the crown of the greatest empire the world had ever seen; and how the Freedom Movement delivered independence to India in 1947, albeit a divided India. The series ends by acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of Indian democracy over 60 years, and flags India's predicted rise to be the largest country and the second-largest (or even the largest) economy in the world in the next three decades. This epic journey "over 10, 000 years and 10,000 miles," as Wood puts it, ends overlooking the seven ancient cities of Delhi. India has been shaped and sustained by the deep-rooted equilibrium of its past, but do the ideas of the Buddha, Ashoka, Akbar, Gandhi and the rest still have lessons for India and the world today? On that question may depend not only India's future, but that of the rest of the world as well.

The Meeting of Two Oceans (Episode #105H)

KQED Plus: Mon, Jun 10, 2019 -- 10:00 AM

The fifth episode takes viewers to the time of the Renaissance in Europe, when India was the richest, most populous civilization in the world. Michael Wood visits the desert cities of Rajasthan and travels among the fabulous Moghul cities of Delhi, Agra and Fatepur Sikri. At the Taj Mahal -- just voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World by 100 million voters worldwide -- Wood demolishes an old myth about the Taj and offers a new theory about its construction. Exploring the legacy of the Moghul empire that stretched across today's political borders, Wood tells the tale of the early Moghuls, starting with the redoubtable Babur, founder of the dynasty, and his grandson Akbar the Great, a Muslim king who tried to make India a multi-racial and multi-religious state. His aim was to achieve a Hindu-Muslim equilibrium based on the brotherhood of mankind. The Moghul story, which contains some of the most fascinating characters in all of history, ended in tragedy as two brothers fought over Akbar's legacy in a battle that destroyed Akbar's dream. Waiting in the wings to pick over the spoils were ... the British.

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