‘Vidrohi’ featuring heroics of Buxi Jagabandhu to be aired on Star Plus from today

Bhubaneswar: TV series ‘Vidrohi’ featuring the legend of Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bhramarbar Ray, leader of the historic Paika Revolt of 1817 in Odisha’s Khurda, will be aired on Star Plus and streamed on Disney+ Hotstar from today.

The first episode of the series will be telecasted and streamed at 6.30 pm.

The trailer of ‘Vidrohi’, which was released by the channel recently, features Buxi Jagabandhu being stopped by the British force from entering the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri. Subsequently, Buxi Jagabandhu’s associates give a befitting reply to the British force by attacking them with bow and arrow.

Notably, the Paikas of Khurda headed by Buxi Jagabandhu had raised their voice against heavy taxation and illegal encroachment of the tax-free lands and restriction on salt by the British Rule.

Buxi Jagabandhu was a great fighter and well adapt in horse-riding, axe-fighting and Guerilla-war.

Starting from the year of 1817, the great Paika revolt ended after a long period of 10 years.

The British Government imprisoned the freedom fighter in Cuttack, where he took his last breath on 24th January, 1829.

Actor Sharad Malhotra has been roped in to play the role of Buxi Jagabandhu.

Malhotra talks about why he was excited to play this character. He says: “It’s a monumental character. When the character has huge potential, automatically the job of the actor becomes a huge responsibility. An actor is always greedy for good content and a show like ‘Vidrohi’ doesn’t happen every day. But what drew me towards the story was the selflessness of the character ‘Buxi Jagabandhu’ and I wanted the nation to know about this legendary hero from the lands of Odisha.”

Sharad adds more about the show and his role: “It is very exciting to be in a period drama like ‘Vidrohi’. Such a show has its own challenges; one must work hard to ensure that you don’t just embrace the character you are playing, you also have to understand the smaller nuances of the period to deliver an authentic experience. I am super excited to play this character on screen since my role has a lot of variations.”

He reveals: “I have had to do a lot for the show. There was an action workshop that was conducted as well where we were taught some local martial arts of Odisha. We were also taught sword fighting but I have been taking up some training in it for quite some time now so that helped. We were also trained in horseback riding. My personal preparation would include conducting some thorough research about the revolt, reading books from the said time and watching some relevant material on TV. I am always making my own notes to better the character. I had to put in a lot to achieve just the right kind of body language to play ‘Jagabandhu’.”

Sharad goes on sharing that he has to work on losing weight and also put a lot of effort on voice modulation.

He adds: “I had to lose weight and gain muscle weight to get the right look. The kind of shows that I have previously worked on are quite different from what ‘Jagabandhu’s character is so I quite obviously had to work a lot on my voice modulation, the dialect, and of course, the body language. We needed an Oriya touch to it all so the dialect was worked on by keeping that in mind. We wanted everything to be very authentic and hence had to learn quite a lot about the state of Odisha.”

“It is an untold story of our rich history so we wanted to say it right. As I belong to Kolkata, I can vouch for the similarities between the two states, Odisha and West Bengal which helped and the episodes have come out to be fantastic is what I’ve heard. We’ve even shot in the rain for that matter! I remember driving from Mumbai to Karjat where the shoot was scheduled during the monsoons while it was raining heavily. The promo has got some crazy responses as expected,” concludes Sharad.

Television and Bollywood actress from Odisha, Sulagna Panigrahi will add charm to the series. She is playing the character of Buxi Jagabandhu’s wife.

She shares about her role in the daily soap: “I am playing the character of ‘Radhamani’ on the show who was freedom fighter Jagbandhu’s wife. She is extremely calm, sweet, and caring yet strong and ambitious. Radhamani is extremely supportive of her husband and would help him achieve his goals through and through. It’s a beautiful marriage based on immense love and trust.”

She tells about the preparation work: “I was born in Odisha but brought up all over the country, being an Army kid. So naturally, I am quite the patriot but my roots are obviously in Odisha. I know the language and its culture.”

“As far as the preparation is concerned, I can do the whole show in the Odia language but I have only tried to keep an Odia touch to my Hindi on the show as the pan-Indian audience might not understand the fluent Odia language. Plus, I also referred to a lot of pictures and images on the internet from that time to get an idea as to how women used to dress in those times, how they used to carry themselves, and what they looked like. The character of Radhamani is quite tricky to play, given she has so much to show and has so much substance, emotions-wise. I had to work on that along with the posture and body language of Radhamani. I hope the audience accepts this character as I have given it my all,” she adds.

“The sarees are quite classy as well. They are soft and sheer in nature. The grace that a soldier’s wife carries, I have actually grabbed from my mom given my dad was an Army man. The way she would dress up and carry herself in a saree at parties and various other social events is what I have kept in mind when it comes to my character’s looks. Also, as the show is based in the 18th century, the hairstyle is quite authentic to its time but all in all, I have taken most of the inspiration from my mother to play this character in terms of looks,” she concludes.

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