1857 AD. The entire Indian sub continent is ruled by a company. The British East India Company. The most successful business enterprise in history. The company has its own laws, its own administration, its own army. It controls the destiny of one fifth of humanity. Mangal Pandey - The Rising is an epic tale of friendship, betrayal, love and sacrifice set against the backdrop of what the British called the sepoy mutiny but which for the Indians was the First War of Independence. 'Company Raj' as it was known, had been plundering the country, treating the locals unjustly and causing widespread resentment. After a hundred years of subjugation, the Indian consciousness is rising through the revolutionary prospect of change and self-rule. During a fierce battle in one of the Afgan wars that the Company fought in the mid-century, Mangal Pandey, the heroic sepoy, saves the life of his British commanding officer William Gordon. Gordon is indebted to Mangal and a strong friendship develops between them, transcending consideration of rank and race. The friendship is soon challenged by the introduction of a new rifle called the Enfield . The new rifle has come with a new cartridge which is rumored to be coated with the grease of cow and pig fat. The new cartridge has to be bitten before it is loaded, which ignites anger and resentment among the Indian sepoys. The cow is sacred to the Hindus, the pig forbidden to the Muslims. They will not touch such a kartoos (gun cartridge), it would defile them. Set in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, told across the divides of time, Mangal Pandey - The Rising tells the tale of friends, lovers and enemies, exploiters and exploited, and the growth and awareness of a man and a nation. It is a story of one man and his dream of freedom. This sweeping epic is based on real historical events, seen as a trigger for Indian independence.
Farrukh Dhondy (screenplay), Ranjit Kapoor (Hindi dialogue)