Showing posts with label Gandhi ji. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gandhi ji. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The Mahatma Gandhi’s connection with the Seven Notes of the Music

Very few people know that Gandhi was extremely fond of music and arts. Most of us have been all along under the impression that he was against all arts such as music. In fact, he was a great lover of music, though his philosophy of music was different. In his own words -
“Music does not proceed from the throat alone. There is the music of the mind, of the senses and of the heart.

Mahatma  Gandhi believed in the power of Music. He used music to bring people together. According to Mahatma "In true music, there is no place for communal differences and hostility. Music was a great example of national integration because only there we see Hindu and Muslim musicians sitting together and partaking in musical concerts. We all think that Tulsidas’s Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram was his favorite Bhajan but "Vaishnava Jana Toh, Taine Kahiye/ Peed Parayi Jaane Re" was his most favorite hymn.
This Bhajan was written by Narsi Mehta, a 15th-century poet-saint of Gujarat. Veteran Film Maker Vijay Bhatt first met Gandhiji in the late 1930s on a trip to Valsad with his friends. When Gandhiji learned that he was a filmmaker, he asked, “Why don’t you make a film on Narsi Mehta?”. He made the film in Hindi and Gujarati and released in 1940. The film was well-received and celebrated silver jubilee across India. Bhatt felt bad that he couldn’t show it to Gandhiji.   
Another favourite hymn of the Mahatma was Meerabai’s Hari tum haro, an ode to Lord Krishna. He found universal connotations in Meera’s pain. He was keen that the song be recorded by the Carnatic legend MS Subbulakshmi. After he had moved to Delhi, a 31-year-old MS had come to visit Gandhi. When the Ramdhun began, he told her “Subbulakshmi tum gao, tum shuru karo…’
The song was recorded at All India Radio (AIR) studios in Chennai, on the night of October 1, 1947, and completed at 2 am on October 2. The recording was airlifted to Delhi, where it was played to Gandhi on his 78th birthday, October 2, 1947.
There was an article written by Dr. Namrata Mishra who is Sr. Asst. Prof of Vocal Music, R.C.A. Girls P. G. College, Mathura, U.P.. She wrote that Someone once asked the Mahatma“Mahatmaji don’t you have any liking for music?”. Gandhi replied, “If there was no music and no laughter in me, I would have died of this crushing burden of my work.”
In her article, she says that when Gandhi Ji was in South Africa he had started evening prayers in the Ashram. That collection of bhajans was published under the name - 'Nitivam Kavyo'. In Satyagraha Ashram, Sabarmati, he had added “Raamdhun” as the daily prayer. The musicians of the Ashram were Pt. N. M. Khare, Mama Fadke, Sri Vinoba, and Balkoba Bhave, etc., who were great Indian classical musicians. In his ashram Bhajnawali, there were no discriminations of religion, caste, creed, region, languages etc. It was like a beautiful bouquet of flowers of variegated colours, having various fragrances, and separate features - all in the same bouquet of love, humanity, and faith.

Gandhi Ji not only liked Indian Classical but also western music, in fact, once he wrote a letter to Ravindranath Tagore, written on December 22, 1945, he had suggested in that latter to give both Hindustani music as well as Western music their due place at Shantiniketan along with Bengali music ..
How many of us know that Gandhi ji knew to play the Violin. In his autobiography, he says, "I started to learn to play the violin so that I could get a sense of the notes and beats. Three pounds went into the purchase of a violin and some more to its learning."  when I was returning back I took my violin to my violin teacher. She was most understanding. She said she would try to sell the violin for whatever value it fetched."
In the winter of 1931, on his way back from the Second Round Table Conference in London, Gandhi stopped in Villeneuve de Chillon to call on the philosopher and musical savant, Romain Rolland. The aesthete has written, "...after the prayers, Gandhi asked me to play him a little of Beethoven. I played him the Andante of the Fifth Symphony.

Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye by various Artists

M S Subbulaxmi

Pt Jasraj and M S Subbulaxmi

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Mahatma Gandhi and Hindi Cinema

Mahatma Gandhi is considered a symbol of peace as he chose to start a non-violent movement comprising of various Satyagrahas all over the country during India’s freedom struggle. Today on his birth anniversary I look forward to Gandhi's connection with cinema.
In an interview in Harijan in 1942, he reiterated that he had never been to the cinema, he feels that “cinema films are often bad”.  Gandhi had seen only 2 films in his life both while he was convalescing from malaria in Juhu, Mumbai, in 1944. The first was Michael Curtiz’s Mission To Moscow(1943), which he apparently disliked. The other was Vijay Bhatt’s Ram Rajya (1943), a Hindi mythological, more suited to his tastes. A newspaper report described this private screening as a “historical event in Indian cinema”, and said that, in the end, “Mahatmaji seemed quite cheerful”.
You would be surprised to note that the first attempt to make a film on gandhi was when D. W. Griffith was approached by the British government to make an anti-Gandhi film in 1923 (Chapman and Cull 2009: 189 – 90), but this film was never made.There are many footages of Gandhi Ji during the Freedom movement but the first documentary was made by A. K. Chettiar’s 1940 film Mahatma Gandhi, which has footage of Gandhi from 1912 that was shot by many cinematographers.

The first film that comes to our mind on Mahatma Gandhi is the 1982 British-Indian film, Gandhi. Directed by Richard Attenborough, the film features Ben Kingsley in the title role. You would again surprise to note that Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru was interested in a film on Mahatma Gandhi to be made by same Richard Attenborough in 1960s but it couldn't be materialised. later Indira Gandhi agreed for a joint venture with Govt of India.
The film focuses on his early life in South Africa and follows through the era when he took part in the freedom struggle of India until his assassination in 1948. It’s undoubtedly one of the best films on Gandhi.

Before this, a documentary film "Mahatma: Life of Gandhi" was released in 1968. This documentary was released in different versions including a 5-hour long English version as well as a Hindi version of 2 hours and 20 minutes. This black-and-white documentary details the life of Mahatma Gandhi using animation, live photography, and some old stills.

Sardar is a 1993 biopic on the one man titled the “Iron Man of India”. The film is directed by Ketan Mehta and features Paresh Rawal as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. While the film is not entirely based on Mahatma Gandhi and features the life of Sardar Patel. Anu Kapoor played the role of Gandhi.

In 1996 another film on Gandhi "The Making of Mahatma" is another joint collaboration, this time between India and South Africa, which features the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
Directed by Shyam Benegal, the film focuses on the life of Mahatma Gandhi (played by Rajit Kapoor) during his 21 years stay in South Africa where he actually adapted his non-violent movement against racial discrimination. The film is adapted from the book titled The Apprenticeship of a Mahatma authored by Fatima Meer.
In 2000 Kamal Hasan made a film on Gandhi " Hey Ram". The film focuses on the famous Partition of India and the resultant murder of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. 
In 2005 a film called "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara" was released. Actually, the film focuses on the life of a retired Hindi Professor who believes that he killed Mahatma Gandhi following an incident that happened in his childhood. The role of the professor was played by Anupam Kher.

In 2006 a film Lage Raho Munna Bhai released. In this film, Munna Bhai’s character starts seeing Mahatma Gandhi’s spirit that guides him to the path of non-violence and peace. The film became popular because of Gandhigiri.
Gandhi, My Father is a 2007 Indian biographical drama film by Feroz Abbas Khan (not to be confused with actor Feroz Khan). It was produced by Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor,The film explores the troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his son Harilal Gandhi. Darshan Jariwala played the role of Gandhi.
In 2011 a multilingual film called Gandhi To Hitler released.The film features Raghubir Yadav as Adolf Hitler, whereas Avijit Dutt plays a minor role in the film as Mohandas Gandhi. The film is based on “The Downfall” letters penned by Mahatma Gandhi addressed to Hitler. 

                    Bapu Ki Yeh Amar Kahaani

Song of Jagriti 1954

Song of Lage Raho Munnabhai

                                  Gandhi Film Theme music - "Discovery of India"

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Great Biopics Of Bollywwod

We all love to watch movies of varied genres out of which Biographies play a special role in the hearts and minds of people.In the past few years many Biopics have been made. The success of the films like Dangal,Bhagh Milkha Bhagh,M S Dhoni The Untold Story,Merry Com and others has set a trend in Bollywood to make more such movies.
The initial successful biopics comes in my mind were Sikandar(1941) and Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946) by V Shantaram. In this Blog I am discussing such great films.Let us have a read on some of the greatest biographical movies made of time:

Sikandar -1941  Bollywood film directed by Sohrab Modi and starring Prithviraj Kapoor as Alexander the Great.The battle sequences featuring thousands of extras along with horses, elephants and chariots were picturised in Kolhapur However, its appeal to nationalism was so great and direct, it remained popular for years. It was revived in Delhi in 1961 during the Indian march into Goa. After the movie was a huge box office success.

Tansen - A 1943 Indian Bollywood film directed by Jayant Desai and featuring K. L. Saigal and Khursheed Bano in the lead roles. The film was based on Tansen, the 16th century musician in the court of Mughal emperor, Akbar.The film featured 13 hit songs, performed by the leads, including More Balapan Ke SaathiRum Jhum Rum Jhum Chal TihariKahe Guman Kare GoriBina Pankh Ka PanchhiSapt Suran Teen GramDiya Jalao and Baag Laga Doon Sajni. It was the second highest grossing Indian film of 1943

 Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani- It is a 1946 Indian film in Hindi-Urdu as well as English, written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and directed by V. Shantaram.The film is based on the life of Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian doctor who worked in China during the Japanese invasion in World War II.The role was played by v Shantaram and the heroine's role played by Jayshree who latter married him.

Shaheed (1948) A Bollywood  film, directed by Ramesh Saigal and written by Wajahat Mirza. The film depicts India's struggle for independence. It starred Dilip KumarKamini KaushalChandra Mohan, and Leela Chitnis. It had lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi and music by Ghulam Haider. Songs like "Watan ki Raah Men Watan Ke Naujawan Shaheed Ho" and "Badnaam Na Ho Jaaye Mohabbat Ka Fasana" have not lost their appeal even after 60 years of the film's release.

Another Shaheed in 1965 was made.based on Bhagat Singh's life. One of the most prominent Indian patriotic movies based on the Indian independence movement, it was produced by Kewal Kashyap and directed by S Ram Sharma and stars Manoj KumarKamini KaushalPranIftekharNirupa RoyPrem ChopraMadan Puri and Anwar Hussain in lead roles.

Mirza Ghalib (1954) -Based on the life of well-known poet Mirza Ghalib, the film was acclaimed upon release. It stars Bharat Bhushan as Ghalib and Suraiya as his courtesan lover. The film won (1) the President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film and (2) the President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi in the 2nd National Film Awards for 1954. Suraiya's singing (of Mirza Ghalib's ghazals) and her acting was specially applauded by the Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru.The film was produced and directed by Sohrab Modi.

Mughal e Azam (1960) -A film directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj KapoorDilip KumarMadhubala, and Durga Khote, it follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim's father, Emperor Akbar, disapproves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son. It broke box office records in India and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years. 

Taj Mahal (1963)- The film based on the historical legend of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. As per the legend, Shah Jahan created the Taj Mahal in fond remembrance and as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was a commercial hit, but is remembered mostly for its music..Pradeep kumar acted as Shsahjehan and Bina Rai acted as Noorjehan.

Amrapali (1966)- It was based on the life of Amrapali (Ambapali), the nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of Vaishali in present-day Bihar, the capital of the Licchavi republic in ancient India around 500 BC and Ajatashatru, the Haryanka dynasty king of the Magadha empire, who falls in love with her. Though he destroys Vaishali to get her, she in the meantime has been transformed by her encounter with Gautama Buddha, of whom she becomes a disciple and an Arahant herself.The film was directed by Lekh Tandon, starring Vyjayanthimala and Sunil Dutt as leads. Music of the film was by Shankar-Jaikishan.

Bhumika (1977)-The film is broadly based on the Marathi-language memoirs, Sangtye Aika of the well-known Marathi stage and screen actress of the 1940s 'Hansa Wadkar', who led a flamboyant and unconventional life, and focuses on an individual's search for identity and self-fulfilment. The film stars Smita PatilAmol PalekarAnant NagNaseeruddin Shah and Amrish Puri.Directed by Shyam Benegal.

Meera (1979)-The film is based on the life of Meera, a Hindu saint-poet who renounced princely comforts in pursuit of her love for Lord Krishna. The film portrays the life and times of Meera from a historical perspective rather than a mythological one. Meera role was played by Hema Malini directed by Gulzar.The film did not perform well at the Indian box office, though it received critical acclaim.

 Gandhi (1982)-  based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violentnon-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom's rule of the country during the 20th century. Gandhi was written by John Briley and produced and directed by Richard Attenborough. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role.It was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, winning eight, including Best Picture and Best Director for Attenborough, Best Actor for Ben Kingsley, and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Briley
Razia Sultan (1983)-The film is based on the life of Razia Sultan (1205–1240), the only female Sultan of Delhi (1236–1240) and her speculated love affair with the Abyssinian slaveJamal-ud-Din Yakut.written and directed by Kamal Amrohi, and starring Hema MaliniParveen Babi and Dharmendra in lead roles.

Naache Mayuri (1986)-dance biographical Hindi film directed by T. Rama Rao. It is a remake of the Telugu film, Mayuri (1984), about classical dancer-actress Sudha Chandran who stars as herself in both films.This film was based on Sudha Chandran herself.She lost her leg in an accident on her way to Trichy to Chennai on June 1981. The story depicts how she received an artificial Jaipur Foot and eventually learned to dance again, triumphing over her fate, and ultimately becoming very successful in her life.

Bandit Queen (1994)- Based on the life of Phoolan Devi  the decoit. It was directed by Shekhar Kapur and starred Seema Biswas as the title character. The music was composed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie and Best Direction for that year.

Mangal Pandey (2005)-based on the life of Mangal Pandey, an Indian soldier known for helping to spark the Indian rebellion of 1857(also known as "The First War of Indian Independence"The role was played by Aamir Khan.It is directed by Ketan Mehta, produced by Bobby Bedi, and with a screenplay by Farrukh Dhondy.It was the fourth highest-grossing film of 2005.
Guru (2007)- the film is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, a business magnate who founded Reliance Industries. The film was co-written and directed by Mani Ratnam. It stars Abhishek BachchanAishwarya RaiR. MadhavanVidya BalanArya Babbar, and Mithun Chakraborty in the leading roles. 

The Dirty Picture (2011)-film inspired by the life of Silk Smitha, a South Indian actress noted for her erotic roles. The filmmakers have clarified that the story is not officially or literally based on Smitha alone, but on many of her southern contemporaries such as Disco Shanti.The film was directed by Milan Luthria and co-produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor,The heroine was Vidya Balan  It won three National Film Awards including Best Actress, three Filmfare Awards and six Screen Awardsincluding Best Picture and Best DirectorBox Office India declared the film Super Hit. 

Paan singh Tomar (2012)-based on the true story of the athlete of the same name. A soldier in the Indian Army, he won a gold medal at the Indian National Games, but was forced to become a bandit. The film is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by UTV Motion PicturesIrrfan Khan plays the title role, with Mahie Gill,

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)-The story is based on the life of Milkha Singh, an Indian athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. It stars Farhan Akhtar in the lead role with Pavan Malhotra and Art Malik in supporting roles. Sonam Kapoor makes a cameo appearance. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra from a script written by Prasoon Joshi. It performed very well at the box office, eventually being declared a "super hit".

Mary Com (2014)-The film stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role of the eponymous boxer, with Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa in supporting roles of her husband and mentor, respectively. Mary Kom depicts Kom's journey of becoming a boxer to her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in NingboThe film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Actress for Chopra.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is a 2016 Indian biographical sports film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. It is based on the life of former TestODI and T20I captain of the Indian national cricket teamMahendra Singh Dhoni. The film stars Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni.The film was released on 30 September 2016 by Fox Star Studios and received the widest release ever for a Bollywood film across 61 countries..It was the fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2016 in India.

Neerja (2016)- The story centers on the Libyan-backed Abu Nidal Organization's hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in KarachiPakistan, on 5 September 1986. The film is shown from the point of view of the flight's head purserNeerja Bhanot, who thwarted the hijack attempt by alerting the pilots, thus grounding the plane; Bhanot died trying to help save 359 of the 379 passengers and crew on board. The film features Sonam Kapoor as the title character, with Shabana AzmiYogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles.

Dangal (2016)- The film is loosely based on the Phogat family, telling the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become India's first world-class female wrestlers. Aamir Khan stars as Mahavir Singh Phogat, while Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra portray the adult versions of the two Phogat sistersZaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar their younger versions, Sakshi Tanwar their mother, and Aparshakti Khurana their cousin.The film was a record-breaking commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film ever, the fifth highest grossing non-English film ever,