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Discovery to air special ‘The White Mughal’ on 28 Mar

MUMBAI: Infotainment broadcaster Discovery Channel will present the story of the relations that existed between the British and some Indians in the 18th century in its new programme ‘The White Mughal: Love and Betrayal in India’.

The programme is an emotive description of the book ‘White Mughals’, written by renowned historian and author William Dalrymple.

To air on 28 March at 9 pm, the special will take viewers to the Deccan Plains of India, unearthing the forbidden love between British diplomat stationed in Hyderabad James Achilles Kirkpatrick who risked everything, even converting to Islam, just to marry his only love, the Muslim princess of Hyderabad Khair-un-Nissa.

At the turn of the 18th century, one in three British men in India known as White Mughals lived with Indian women, married them, wore local dress and adopted Indian ways. To protect their children from growing disapproval of their mixed race, they sent them to England for education, ultimately being absorbed into the Victorian society.

Narrated by William Dalrymple, the one-hour programme will reconstruct the compelling story of the lives of the ‘White Mughals’ who assimilated themselves into the Indian life. The story of the Kirkpatricks and their children will be told through the art and architecture of the time—from the classic Georgian portraiture of George Chinnery and Thomas Hickey to the fantastical Deccani miniatures of Venkatchellam and Tajully Ali Shah.