India with Sanjeev Bhaskar

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Sundays from 2 November, 7.30pm

It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Over the past 60 years, India has changed more rapidly than any other nation on the planet. In fields as diverse as agriculture, medical research and information technology, India already leads the world. Yet it is Britain that created modern India, the world’s largest democracy and it was India that that shaped Britain’s destiny as the world’s greatest imperial power. For more than five centuries, their fates have been intertwined – now India with Sanjeev Bhaskar explores the lasting legacy of the Raj through the eyes of an entertainer who is also tracing his own ancestry. Sanjeev’s quest is to get under the skin of modern India and his journey takes him from the deserts of Rajasthan to the lush tea plantations of Darjeeling, high into the Himalayas along the course of the holy river Ganges and across the border to Pakistan on a mission to find the ancestral homeland that his family left behind. This upbeat adventure is set against the backdrop of a country without visual equal. It is this sense of a two way exchange that gives the series its distinctive appeal – amidst the riot of colour and sound that characterise Indian life, these opulent and atmospheric films present a detailed portrait of a country on the edge of modernity.

Episode One: Bombay Dreams

Sanjeev explores the ‘new’ India, where business and entertainment are booming and cities like Mumbai and Bangalore are being transformed as a wealthy new middle class emerges. Along the way, he finds himself making a cameo appearance in a top soap opera and judging a somewhat surreal beauty contest.