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Roshan Seth
Born (1942-04-02) 2 April 1942 (age 76)
Alma materThe Doon School
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active1972–present

Roshan Seth is an Indian-born British actor, who appears mainly in British and American films.[1] He is known for his critically acclaimed performances in the films Gandhi, Mississippi Masala, Not Without My Daughter, My Beautiful Laundrette, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Such a Long Journey, and Street Fighter: The Movie. He is the brother of retired Indian diplomat Aftab Seth.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Bharat Ek Khoj 02: The Beginnings
  • ✪ Bharat Ek Khoj Episode 14 Ashoka Part 2 1
  • ✪ Bharat Ek Khoj Episode 38 Shivaji Part 2 1
  • ✪ Bharat Ek Khoj Episode 11 Chanakya and Chandragupta Part 1
  • ✪ Bharat Ek Khoj Episode 13 Ashoka Part 1 1


Time seems to change its nature in prison Time seems to change its nature in prison The present hardly exists for there is an absence of feeling and sensation which might separate it from the dead past But the past is not life unless we can find the vital links between it and the present with its conflicts and problems I would like to place vivid images of the past before you to make you sense how this country of ours has changed step by step To make you see how the river of history has run on from epoch to epoch and still rushes on to an unknown sea In India, epics and Puranas are witness to the fascination which the secret of creation has had on the Indian mind The original matter of the world is believed to be water The theory of evolution is reflected in the progression of the first five AVATARS (incarnations) of the VISHNU DASAVTARAS First MATSYA the fish created out of the primal waters Then KURMA or Tortoise which lives on both land and water Then VARAHA, the boar, which according to Vayu Purana was chosen because it is an animal delighting in water, Then NARASIMHA, the man lion, and then the dwarf VAMAN who represents primitive man In those days there were no houses or other buildings People lived in caves Men ate fruit and nuts and the animals they killed These savage men knew how to draw with their stone needles and pointed instruments They sketched animals on the walls of caves Early man experienced reverence and fear towards the wild animals. And in the early period they may have been objects of worship Human figures appear in the paintings of the later period which were of a magical nature They were accompanied by rituals and dancing to ensure success in hunting The first advance in civilization that early man made was to combine together in packs or tribes as these are called Each man put the interest of the tribe before himself every member had to fight and defend it And if any person in the tribe did not work for the tribe he was thrown out Today's food gatherers use iron tools but digging in prehistoric sites reveals a period when tools were made of stone Stone tools like scrapers, cleavers, hand axes knife like flakes, arrowheads and microliths were used. Perhaps some of these were mounted on wooden sticks - like present day arrowheads The men who used these tools are called Paleolithic men because they used stone implements and weapons Before the stone age came to an end the climate of the world changed greatly and became much warmer The glaciers receded and in their place great forests arose Among these forests we find a new race of men living They are called Neolithic men or men of the new Stone age These neolithic men made the great discovery of cultivation. This gave them more leisure and time to discover new things and methods They started making earthen pots and with the help of these they began to cook their food their stone tools were much better finished they also tamed animals like the cow, the dog and sheep, and learnt to weave They lived in houses or huts An interesting result of tilling land was that man began to settle down in villages and towns they settled near big rivers and in fertile valley where food and water were abundant The land gave more food than could be eaten up at once This was then stored up in surplus This gave people more leisure Trade increased and artisans creating arts and crafts prospered At Mehrgarh in Afgandhistan Kot Diji in Pakistan and Kalibangan in Rajasthan, are found traces of the transition from what was an already developed village culture to an urban culture The necessary pre-conditions for the growth of an urban civilization are: Surplus crops, a developed trade network transport system standardised weights and measures, use of currency or a barter system a codified religion, and planned architecture. The Indus Vally civilization developed along these lines The old civilization is the basis of Indian life even today. It is interesting and rather wonderful to think of this long range and continuity of Indian culture and civilization right from the dawn of history, I tried to identify myself for a while with this unending procession, at the tail end of which I too was struggling along I would separate myself and as from a hilltop look down at the valley below The major occupation of the Indus people seems to have centered around trade It was an urban civilization where the merchant class was wealthy and evidently played an important role The streets lined with stalls and small shops gave the impression of an Indian Bazaar of today The Indus civilization in its golden period also known as the Harappan culture 2500BC to 1900BC included within its boundaries the Baluch hills, the Indus plains, the Kutch and Kathiawar peninsulas and the Ghaggar - Yamuna basin The Indus plains were dominated by Mohenjo-daro and Harrapa The Kathiawar peninsula had for its capital Lothal The main town of the eastern province was Kalibangan and of the western province - Dabarkot The impact of the Indus civilization was felt far beyond its borders in central and West Asia The Indus Civilization was a part of a trade network that stretched from the lower Mesopotamian plains, across both ends of the Persian Gulf, southern Iran and Afghanistan, Baluchistan to Sind and beyond into the Indian hinterland The Indus River and its tributaries were the main waterways of the civilization Further evidence of the importance of river and sea trade can be seen from the existence of the dock at Lothal and the discovery of stone anchors and Jetties at Dwarka In the time of Sargon of Agade Lothal and Mohan jodaro are known to have exported and shell objects, beads of semi-precious stones and perhaps cotton goods also, to West Asian cities. Clay tablets of that period refer to the Makran coast as Magan, and the West coast of India as Meluha. Sail boats from India used to ply to the port of Agade The ships from Meluha The ships from Magan The ships from Dilman anchored in the bay of Agade We thus find the Indus valley civilization connected and trading with the civilizations of Sumeria, Persia and Egypt It would seem to follow that the craftsmen of the Indus cities were, to a large extent, producing for the foreign markets Whether, any form of currency and standard of value was used in exchange of commodities is uncertain The godowns attached to the houses indicate that they belonged to rich merchants The number and size of houses indicate a strong and prosperous merchant community A surprising wealth of ornaments of gold, silver, precious stones and vessels of beaten copper and job metal implements and weapons has been collected from the ruins Both Mohenjodaro and Harappa were international market towns where commodities converge and are processed, packed and redistributed They were also the starting points for the overland mule pack caravans that went south as far as Karnataka in search of metals and other raw materials and over the border towards Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia The goods packed in today's market towns are dispatched further afield and goods are marked for easy identification The Indus seals probably served the same purpose Most of the symbols on the seals represent animals Is it the correct weight? Yes I have verified it. When are the other boxes coming? Before nightfall. What is the hurry? The Captain of the ship wants to leave within a day or two is coming here to have a look at the goods Shulgi What? I I want to ask you? don't know where to begin You know the situation In Sumeria Trade has shifted From us to Babylon, Which is the new Capital in the north I don't know whether you will be able to sell these goods. It is better that you give me my share of silver now Why am I personally undertaking the journey? Because I want to get extra silver I will send you your share before the next rains Who knows if I will be here till then? There is no demand for our goods The supplies from the villages are dwindling These barbarians have also started coming Draha, traders like you are encouraging them Trading with them slyly Let us not talk about that don't want anybody to hear of this And I was going to ask for a loan. Why ? Personal reasons. How do arrange it ? Look, the Captain is here. This is my partner, Draha Has the timber been loaded ? Yes everything is loaded except your consignment I believe outsiders are causing trouble here? Everybody is talking about that If they take over the city, what will you do ? Where will you go? Back to the village, where else? My wife's relatives are there They supply the timber to us But even villages could be raided what for? Everything comes here to the cities What will they eat? They don't know cultivation The villages will survive there is no doubt Sir, the tax inspector has come. He wants to see you But we have already paid the tax Not the entire amount I thought you will share. Why should I? You have always paid? We have agreed on that earlier I told you the Trade is slack If you could advance some of the silver you owe me But I need the silver. I cannot spare anything Let us talk to the inspector We will need some more time to pay the tax Can you do something. Yes, I can stop putting the seal This is no joke Sir it is a serious problem I cannot help you no tax, no seal Your goods cannot leave from here Atleast give us time tomorrow All right, the seal can wait till tomorrow. I am in no hurry What now? You heard it... arrange the silver by tomorrow. Or you cannot take away the goods There is a way out What ? The ship is ready. Tonight we will load your goods Without the seal? Yes we will leave at night. I will manage that Is that wise? Yes, don't wait. You have nothing to lose There is nothing here It is too risky. He will leave but will still be here. There is no time to think I have to alert my men The cities of the Indus civilization were based on trade But what enabled the trader to make his profit and keep it? What was the force necessary for this trade to flourish ? The temple and the hold of the priestly class could explain the mechanism of controlling the population Though there are no great statues of the Gods, The citadel mound corresponds to the Ziggaraut structures In Messopotamia Part of the ritual was for travellers to consort with the living representatives of the Godess at Pushkara a practice which survives to this day in the devadasi cults of the Deccan numerous figurines found at the ruins bear a resemblance to present day votive terracottas The existance of a living goodess, similar to the Living Goodess of Nepal of today, could explain the absence of arge idols at the Indus Valley sites Dominance of religion could explain why Indus culture remained static for more than five hundred years Who were these people of the Indus valley civilization and from where had they come? We do not know yet It is quite possible and probable that their culture was an indigenous culture and its roots and off shoots may be found even in Southern India Temple worship and idol worship are not found in the old vedic religion They were probably adopted later from non vedic cults What happened to the indus valley civilization and how did it end ? some people say that there was a sudden end to it due to an unexplained catastrophe or a changing climate which led to the expansion of the desert In any event climatic changes could have only affected a small part of the urban civilization which spread right upto the Gangetic Valley Perhaps the decline in trade ed to the end of this civilization There is also the theory of invasion by Aryans It has been suggested that 4000 years ago the Indus culture died due to Aryan invasion Aryans destroyed the dam system of the Indus valley thereby destroying its agricultural base Hey! Hey! Who are you! What are you doing You cannot break our dam What is the matter? Why are you breaking the dam? You people have diverted all the water for yourselves and our cattle are dying We cannot help it if your cattle are dying Without this water our crops will die This water is for our cattle alone Vedic Indra is described again and again as freeing the streams from the grip of the demons The demon lay like a dark snake across the slopes The rivers were brought to a standstill when the demon was struck by Indra's shattering weapon Ground buckled, the stones rolled away like chariot wheels, the pent up waters flowed over the demon's recumbent body Hey you! You cannot sell anything here. -Why not ? There is a rule against you barbarians coming into the city. Don't you know? You better leave I will leave after all this is sold. What did you say ? Go somewhere else and sell your goods. Go before you are thrown out! Who is going to throw me out? You? Come on, let us see how you throw me out. Stop threatening me I have told you. You are not allowed here You cannot sell your goods here. Go away Who allowed this fellow inside the city? Keep away from me or I will kill you all Get out of our city! We don't want your dirt and filth here Do you understand ? Get out before you are hurt ! You cannot hurt me, you soft skinned priest I can break you into pieces with my fingers You have been warned to stay away from the city We are a peace loving people We don't want your impertinence here Go and stay away I am going. But you watch out What happened ? One of those damned barbarians got into the city and tried to sell his wares. Was there a fight ? Who is going to fight with those animals ? We don't want to have anything to do with them Do you think that is fair ? You are from Sumeria are you not ? Yes Then you won't understand our problems I just hope there is no trouble this evening at the ceremony What have you decided ? Are you coming ? Where ? Back with me to Sumeria. Why not? I can not come, you know that The priests will never allow me to leave I belong to the temple I am not allowed to marry Who said anything about marrying here come with me to Dilman, we will get married there, No one will know But they will never let me go do you want to come with me ? Do you ? Yes. Then we will find a way. Wait for me tonight near the temple Don't receive anyone else That is not possible Find a way, say you are sick I will come? I have got to go now. The priests are waiting for me Respected citizens, my colleagues and I have come from Dilman In keeping with the spirit of this function We wish to present before the noble citizens of this great city a famous story from our land This is the story of our great hero, Gilgamesh, and his search for immortality Are you all right? I heard about what happened It was very close Shulgi. I fear the worst Oh! Stop worrying. Nothing will happen It was a minor incident Minor? So far the Aryans only destroyed fields and dams. But today when I went to their camp to trade they stole all my goods No Shulgi, I think this behavior of Aryans will take a dreadful shape. Look we will talk about this later Come to my house then - can't Atri? Yes, she says she won't be allowed to leave with me Of course not. The Priests watch over her all the time. Listen , I will see you later Gilgamesh, I saw a dreadful dream today, I saw Anu and others They were talking to each other Anu said, humans have destroyed the animal of the heaven Hence one of these two will have to die only I have to die They also said I have to die. Gilgamesh will not die, My friend, they will kill me should I have to go to the threshold of death Will I become a spirit after death? Will I not be able to see my dear brother any more ? What happened ? Have you gone to sleep ? Or you are engulfed by the darkness of night ? I am calling, but you are quiet ? Will I also reach the same state when I die ? What trouble I have got myself into ? I am roaming around in the desert afraid of death, I am searching for the world where one can be immortal Gligamesh, are you the same Gilgamesh who killed lions of the hills and destroyed the enemies. Are you the same, who put to sleep the animal of the heaven? If you are the same, why have you gone pale ? There is sadness in the heart, written on the face too. As if a traveler has arrived after many journeys My friend, I showered so much love on him He has become victim of the cruel fate Day and night, I wept body rotted, worms swarmed I am roaming in the desert afraid of death How can I keep quiet when my dear friend has been reduced to dust ? Do I also have to lie down like this forever, never to get up again ? Tell me, where is that world in which the immortals live ? Which is the way and what is the landmark ? Gilgamesh, there comes the sailor Urshnabi he sails to the immortal world. Ask him. Urshnabi, show me the way to the world of immortality. If it is worthy of nobles, I will cross the ocean and go. If not, I will cross the desert. You will sail, where will you walking ? The life you are searching for, you will never get. When the Gods made the man, they designed death too. They kept the life in their hands Gilgamesh, they also need something Be happy, day or night, enjoy every moment. Sing, dance forgetting everything Wear new clothes fresh, shining Look at the one who is walking holding your finger He is your child, your own part, give him respect Your wife, embrace her lovingly Keep your head without worry You are a man and live like a man Only this is your duty understand this Shulgi, have you gone mad? Do you realize what you have done ? I don't know what happened to me In the confusion I saw an opportunity and I grabbed it. You have to hide her here So this is Atri Your madness makes more sense now Don't be afraid you are safe here. If I get caught they will kill me I should never have come Don't worry. They will not look for you here They will think that the barbarians took you away Now what? We have to find a way to get her to the ship That means you have to return to Dilman There is no alternative fleeing the sinking ship ? Nonsense. Everything is going to be all right. You still say that after what happened The barbarians have never come so close To me it looks like they were testing our defenses The main attack will come soon Look Draha It is best to go Things are getting uncertain at your end too We have almost a full consignment ready I will sell it personally in Dilman and make sure we get a good bargain The silver will reach you with the first of the ships next season Can't you leave Atri here for a week ? Not a chance We have to leave as soon as possible Or else we will be stuck here What about the Sumerian Captain ? Will he help you His ship is about to sail. He could smuggle you both out I have an idea. You and Atri sneak into the ship at dawn That is fine. But what about the unicorn seal? don't worry about that. You handle the Captain I am very grateful Draha If the barbarians come where will you go ? To my village, where else? I still feel everything will settle down You always look at the brighter side of things Draha, we will wait till noon for the goods If they are not loaded we sail. Right ? Right. Take care of Atri Don't let anyone see her till the ship sails This civilization did not die suddenly as believed earlier It underwent several changes The changed phase between 1900-1600 B.C. is called the late Harappan culture It was followed by the Aryan expansion. And in conformity with the historical process of growth and settlement, they gradually accepted many aspects of the previous culture and were influenced by them it is sheer chance which led to the discovery of these ruins There can be little doubt that there lie many such buried cities and remains Between this Indus Valley Civilization and others in India. There are many gaps of which we know little but there is always an underlying sense of continuity of an unbroken chain which joins modern India to that distant period of six or seven thousand years when the Indus Valley Civilization probably began It is surprising how much there is in Mohenjodaro and Harappa which reminds one of persisting traditions and habits, rituals, craftsmanship, dress The pleasant city and its mighty king The tributary Princess by his side The learned men that were the kingdom's pride The gracious ladies of the court, The Minstrels with a ready song to sing the ring of heirs conquered by the lord of all birth Time, who makes memories of everything.


Early life

Seth was born in Patna, Bihar, India, to a Muslim Anglo-Indian mother and a Hindu father.[3][4] His father was a biochemistry professor at Patna Medical College.[5] He was educated at The Doon School, then did graduate studies in History at St Stephen's College. There, he honed his theatrical skills at the Shakespeare Society, before moving to England for further training.[6] He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in British repertory theatre.[7]


Seth's first break came in Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which toured in 1972. Seth entered feature films in Richard Lester's Juggernaut (1974), but because subsequent filmmakers only wanted Seth for ethnic roles, his career abruptly stalled.

Discouraged, he abandoned acting and returned to India, where he worked as an editor and journalist until the early 1980s, when Richard Attenborough asked Seth to play Jawaharlal Nehru in Gandhi (1982). Seth was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in the film.[8] Seth also played Jawaharlal Nehru in Bharat Ek Khoj, a 53-episode series on Doordarshan in 1988.

Also in 1982, Seth played Indian author Victor Mehta in David Hare's biographical play, A Map of the World, which toured for several years in Australia, London, and New York. After the release of the multi-award-winning movie Gandhi (1982), Seth was much in demand, and when A Map of the World's Broadway run finished, his movie career took off. His work in 1984 included major roles in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and David Lean's A Passage to India. Following that he played a lead in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), and he played Pancks in Little Dorrit (1988).

Seth's film credits in the 1990s included roles in Not Without My Daughter (1991), Mississippi Masala (1991), Street Fighter (1994), and Harish Saluja's The Journey (1997). In 1993, he played the role of Haroon Amir in the television miniseries The Buddha of Suburbia, for which he was nominated a Royal Television Society award for "Best Actor – Male". In 1995, he played the role of Baba in Flight, for which he won the "Best Actor" award at the Sochi International Film Festival. In 1998, he played the leading role of Gustad Noble in the film Such a Long Journey, for which he won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.[8]

In 2001, Seth appeared in Monsoon Wedding, and he has continued working steadily in British and American films. In 2003 he played the lead in the American film Cosmopolitan, which was broadcast nationally on PBS. He also recently returned to mainstream Indian cinema with his role in the 2012 film, Ek Tha Tiger.

Personal life

Seth was formerly in a relationship with actress Lynette Davies.[4] He was later married to author Pepita Seth, but they separated in the late 1980s and divorced in 2004.[9][10]


Year Title Role Notes
1974 Juggernaut Azad
1982 Gandhi Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Chattar Lal
A Passage to India Advocate Amrit Rao
1985 My Beautiful Laundrette Papa Hussein
1987 Partition
The Happy Valley Defense Solicitor TV
1988 Little Dorrit Mr. Pancks
Bharat Ek Khoj As anchor and author
1989 In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones Y.D. Billimoria / Yamdoot
Slipstream George
1990 Mountains of the Moon Ben Amir
1871 Lord Grafton
1991 Not Without My Daughter Houssein
Mississippi Masala Jay
London Kills Me Dr. Bubba
1992 Stalin Lavrentiy Beria
Electric Moon Ranveer
1993 The Buddha of Suburbia Haroon Amir
1994 Street Fighter Dhalsim
1995 Bideshi Ajoy
Solitaire for 2 Sandip Tamar
1997 The Journey Kishan Singh
1998 Such a Long Journey Gustad Noble
Bombay Boys Pesi Shroff
1999 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Tales of Innocence Sheikh Kamal
Secret of the Andes Don Benito
2000 Vertical Limit Colonel Amir Salim
2001 Monsoon Wedding Mohan Rai
Wings of Hope Shekar Khanna
South West 9 Ravi
2003 Cosmopolitan Gopal
2004 Se sarà luce sarà bellissimo Aldo Moro
Spivs Omar
2005 Frozen Noyen
Proof Professor Bhandari
2006 Kabul Express Narrator Voice
2007 Broken Thread Chief of Enquiry Commission
Guru Thapar
Amal Suresh Gupta
2008 The Cheetah Girls: One World Uncle Kamal Bhatia
2010 The Truth About Tigers Narrator
2011 Trishna Mr. Singh
2012 Ek Tha Tiger Professor Kidwai
2013 Brahmin Bulls Ashok Sharma
The Lovers Sadhu
2016 City of Tiny Lights Farzad Akhtar
2019 Dumbo Pramesh Singh


Year Title Role Notes Web Links
1988 Bharat Ek Khoj Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru An Indian TV Series
2003 Second Generation Sharma (A Mentally Challenged bakery factory owner) A British TV Serial
2015 Indian Summers Darius Dalal A British TV Serial


  1. ^ Audio interview with Seth on NPR's All Things Considered, 3 June 2004
  2. ^ Requiem for a rainbow: a Fijian Indian story – Satendra Pratap Nandan – Google Books
  3. ^ Lumley, Elizabeth (2001). Canadian Who's Who 2001. p. 1166. ISBN 0-8020-4958-3.
  4. ^ a b Levin, Eric (28 October 1985). "By Deliberately Seeking Obscurity Indian Actor Roshan Seth Ensures His Magnetism Onstage". People. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.
  5. ^ Carole Zucker (2002). Conversations with actors on film, television, and stage performance. Heinemann. p. 157. ISBN 0325003726. He came to Patna as a professor of biochemistry at the Patna Medical College.
  6. ^ Requiem for a rainbow: a Fijian Indian story – Satendra Pratap Nandan – Google Books
  7. ^ BFI Screenonline: Seth, Roshan (1942–) Biography
  8. ^ a b "Awards for Roshan Seth". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  9. ^ Manmadhan, Prema (6 December 2008). "A Malayali in spirit". The Hindu.
  10. ^ De, Shobhaa (14 March 2004). "Stories around my dining table". Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 March 2019, at 19:42
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