Shaktimaan is an Indian superhero from the television series of the same name produced by Mukesh Khanna and directed by Dinkar Jani. Around 500 episodes of the series originally aired on Doordarshan. Mukesh Khanna plays the roles of Shaktimaan, the main protagonist and his alter ego “Pandit Gangadhar” Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri , a photographer for the newspaper Aaj Ki Aawaz. Shaktimaan is depicted as a human who has attained superhuman strength and power through deep meditation and attaining control over five elements of life.
Shaktimaan Synopsis –
Since the dawn of mankind, humanity was at peace until the arrival of Kalyuga. Since then, greed and hatred has taken over humanity and has been deteriorating it for past 6000 years. To end this, a mystical sect of saints known as “Suryanshis” chose a man to rise up against all odds and defeat the evil prevailing within society. He was taught the way to energize the 7 chakras of body through Kundalini Yoga that helped him get mystical and supernatural powers.
During his training, he also conducted the ritual of death in order to get total control over his powers by entering the holy fire and immersing his physical body in it. When the five natural elements of life, fire, earth, water, wind and sky invigorated his body, he gains superpowers and becomes a Superhuman. At last, he takes a pledge to finish corruption and injustice in society and fight the evil prevailing in the world. Due to his heroic initial works, he is named Shaktimaan by a reporter.
His alter-ego is a funny geek named Pandit Gangadhar Vidyadhar Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri, who works as a photographer in a daily newspaper office to maintain his secret identity as Shaktimaan.
Geeta Vishwas , the female lead in the serial, used to work as a brave news reporter in Aaj Ki Awaaz. She was the first to report about Shaktimaan in newspaper and named the superhero as Shaktimaan. Incidentally, she was the only reporter to get interviews of Shaktimaan as Gangadhar used to accompany her as photographer in missions. She died in a crash planned by Dr. Jackal. As Shaktimaan loved her, he brought her back to life again using his power which resulted in losing his powers temporarily due to his against the nature actions.
Geeta came to know about this after Shaktimaan regained power with the vow that he will never repeat the same mistake again. To ensure this, she planned to leave the country. In the lead up to that situation, she got to know about Shaktimaan’s dual character for the third time. But unlike first two occasions, Shaktimaan didn’t erase it from Geeta’s memory this time as she promised to keep it secret forever.
Main enemy Tamraj Kilvish –
Tamraj Kilvish is Shaktimaan’s archenemy. Tamraj means King of Darkness. He has lived 6000 years and is the source of evil in the world. He intends to rule the world by spreading darkness, hatred, sin and evil. It is said that the source of his strength is one-half of the “Shakti Punj” (the half which is referred to as “Paap Punj”) which he managed to retain after he originally obtained the entire Shakti Punj by deceit from Shri Satya , the founder of the Suryavanshi. However, it is also mentioned that the source of his strength is the evil that is committed by people in this world.
It was later revealed that only Shri Satya can kill Tamraj Kilvish. After a death-defying adventure, Shaktimaan was told that he is the rebirth of Shri Satya. Shri Satya had given the exact time of the child’s birth and the place before he died about 6000 years ago. Tamraj also knows this and this is the main reason he is frightened by the appearance of Shaktimaan as he knows that only Shaktimaan can kill Tamraj. He murdered Shaktimaan’s parents and his adoptive father, Pandit Vidyadhar Shastri. He and his minions plot to kill him but always fail. His minions include Electric-man (who can shoot lightning bolts from his body), Stone-man (who can shoot stones from his body), Plastica (who can stretch any part of her body), Dr. Jackal (an evil scientist) and others. Dr. Jackal has helped Kilvish in his various schemes by cloning Shaktimaan and also by turning aliens against him.
In the television series, Kilvish is often treated as the personification of darkness itself. Even though he was once a human being who later becomes very powerful and commits many evil deeds. In an attempt to become immortal, he left his mortal body and took an ethereal body which can’t be killed. Also Shaktimaan is told that he has to kill all the evil in the world to destroy Tamraj’s ethereal body. Kilvish’s trademark quote is “Andhera Kaayam Rahe” (May Darkness Prevail), which is also used by his followers.
Kilvish’s character evolves as the series progresses. In the beginning episodes of Shaktimaan, his face is never shown. His voice is different from the voice that he uses in the later episodes of Shaktimaan. Later his face deforms to become a distorted wolf-like face.
- Dr. Jackal –
Dr. Jackal is an evil scientist who works for Kilvish. His earlier intention was not that of becoming evil, but when he was denied scholarship for research, Kilvish provided him with funds and labs, thus making him a supporter of Kilvish & an evil scientist. Though he is overall a brilliant scientist, his specialisation is cloning and various energy rays. His creations against Shaktimaan include Kekda Man (a clone formed by fusing cells of Crab & human), followed by Jonk Jonkaa (a clone using leech), an evil clone of Shaktimaan, Plastica, Lightman, 3D image, Super-heroine Sunanda and others. He also invented a height control solution and fictional EC- rays.