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Anita Rani's episode

Chat about the 12th series of the landmark TV programme, which features the likes of Paul Hollywood, Jerry Hall and Gareth Malone

Anita Rani's episode

Postby Jon Bauckham » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:06 am

Tonight at 9pm, broadcaster and Strictly star Anita Rani will be receiving the Who Do You Think You Are? treatment on BBC One.

Whereas Frank Gardner's episode stayed solely in the British Isles, this episode sees Anita travel thousands of miles away to India, where she discovers how her ancestors coped during some of the most pivotal events in the nation's history. Not to be missed!

As ever, tell us what you thought below. We may feature some in the magazine or in our weekly email newsletter!

Best,
Jon
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Re: Anita Rani's episode

Postby phsvm » Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:38 pm

Does NO ONE have any thoughts about this episode?

This week's and last were both, I thought, sureal. To hear Frank Gardner was descended from someone that the majority of us have heard of, yet someone from so many many generations ago seemed, somehow, beyond comprehension. Yet there was the paper trail and enough evidence to back it up. Going back that far still seemed unworldly and almost the thing of legends.

Anita Rani's was also sureal but in a different way. The experiences and events took place comparitively recently - certainly within living memory - but were again beyond comprehension. It makes one realise that many of the problems the world faces today - often based on religious belief (and I don't want this to turn into the rights and wrongs of reigion) - are nothing new. What made Anita's findings so difficult to graps were that they were beyond what most of us have ever found within our own ancestry.

I can't say I enjoyed this episode as I have with some of this series but it was certainy interesting and a real eye opener. The only other thing I would say is that some of it, particularly her uncle's telling of the loss of the son, appeared to have been taken as acurate, whereas in fact there was no evidence for it. We all know how easy it is to embellish family legends and stories. The golden rule of backing up everything with concrete evidence and double checking seems to have been quite happily forgotten in this instance.
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Re: Anita Rani's episode

Postby junkers » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:27 pm

I thought that the episode was great, not a lot on actual research documents, but a very moving episode especially regarding the massacres following Indian Independence. I thought a little information on the background, i.e. the issues between Nehru and Jinna over a serperate Pakistan state might have ben useful to those who didn't know, the map was slightly wrong as I thought that Pakistan was originally West Pakistan, East Pakistan on the east side of India became Bangladesh in 1971. I can't really fault the programme, so well done!.
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Re: Anita Rani's episode

Postby paulberyl » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:31 am

For me this series has had some poor episodes, I am afraid that Anne Reid blaming everyone other than her criminal ancestor grated, and some truly excellent episodes.

The Anita Rani episode falls into the excellent bracket along with those of Frank Gardner and Derek Jacobi. I thoroughly enjoyed the programme, although I am not sure that enjoyed is an appropriate word to use. Having some very limited knowledge on the partition of India to hear specific family stories regarding the atrocities that were carried out (and, as the programme pointed out, by both sides) puts text book learning into perspective.

What I became quite emotional about was when the photographs of Sant Singh’s first wife and son were discovered. In my family there is a singular lack of photographs; I do not even have a photograph of my paternal grandfather, let alone his first wife, and I would dearly love to be able to trace photographs of some of my immediate ancestors.

Paul
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