Mantra, whose real name is Puranjit Dasgupta, will be essaying the role of Najib-ud-Daulah.
It is too early to be talking about the film, but Mantra shared his delight at being part of such a big project.
“This is is the biggest project of my life. To be asked by Ashutosh Gowariker is nothing short of an honour. I have no words to thank him,” Mantra told Cinestaan.com.
Asked why they chose Mantra for the role, producer Sunita Gowariker said in a statement, “Najib-ud-Daulah was one of the key persons in this epic battle. He was a Rohilla Yousafzai Pashtun, who was blessed with political acumen. For this part, we were looking for an actor who not only looked the part but also had the dexterity to pull off such a complex role. When we met Mantra, we instantly knew he was the perfect fit for the role. He is immensely talented and we are happy to have him on board.”
Gowariker’s Panipat is based on the third battle of Panipat, fought between the Marathas and the Afghans on 14 January 1761. The Afghans were led by Ahmed Shah Abdali aka Ahmed Shah Durrani while the Maratha forces were led by Sadashivrao Bhau. Outmanouevred by the wily Afghan warlord and forsaken by the regional chieftains, the Marathas under Bhau fought bravely but it was a lost cause.
Sanjay Dutt plays Abdali in the film. Najib-ud-Daulah was one of his Indian allies. Arjun Kapoor plays the Maratha general Sadashivrao Bhau while Kriti Sanon plays Parvatibai, his second wife, who was by his side at Panipat.