On the occasion of Independence Day I look back at the impact that the political changes of 1947 had on the Indian cinema.The impact of partition was not only the loss of human lives and property but the near-fatal blows on cultures that mark its distinctively hideous features.As the year 1947 witnessed the birth of two new nations, it also saw the emergence of two distinct film industries.Both in India and Pakistan, cinema as a cultural production wields immense influence in the lives of the people and mainstream cinema has been deeply affected by Partition.For us there was loss as well as gain. The Partition affected film production and many great performers had to make choices about their location. It affected the Indian film industry by destabilizing two major film centers of undivided India – Bombay (now Mumbai) and Lahore. Legendary film personalities like Noor Jehan, Zia Sarhadi and Ghulam Mohammed left for Pakistan. Similarly, prominent Indian filmmakers such as Gulzar and Govind Nihalani, B R Chopra and Yash Chopra migrated to India.
. The migrations caused a great deal of professional insecurity in the film industries, especially in India for those Muslims who chose to stay back. Ian Talbot notes that even in secular India the Muslim actors felt apprehensive of the audience’s acceptance and therefore functioned with Hindu names. He cites the example of Dilip Kumar who adopted this screen name and even refused to perform roles of Muslim characters with the exception of Mughal-e-Azam.
After the partition in 1947, prominent music directors like Ghulam Haider, Khwaja Khursheed Anwar, G A Chisti, Feroze Nizami, Rafique Ghaznavi , Innayat Hussain migrated to Pakistan. Most of them were born or brought up in western part of Punjab of undivided India which became a part of Pakistan. So rather than calling the process as migration, they actually returned to their original places.
Noor Jehan-She is also thought to be one of the most prolific singers of all time, alongside her protégé: renowned Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar. She is also considered to be the first female Pakistani film dire ctor.She was at the top in 40s.In 1942, she played the main lead opposite Pran in Khandaan (1942). It was her first role as an adult, and the film was a major success. Khandaan's success saw her shifting to Bombay, with director Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi. whom she married.In 1947, Rizvi and Jehan decided to move to Pakistan. They left Bombay and settled in Karachi with their family.
Roshan Ara Begum-Roshan Ara Begum was born in 1917 in Calcutta. Roshan Ara Begum visited Lahore during her teens to participate in musical soirées held at the residences of affluent citizens of Chun Peer in Mohalla Peer Gillaanian at Mochi Gate. During her occasional visits to the city she also broadcast songs from the then All India Radio station and her name was announced as Bombaywali Roshan Ara Begum. She had acquired this popular nomenclature because she shifted to Mumbai, then known as Bombay, in the late 1930s to live near Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, from whom she took lessons in Hindustani classical music for fifteen years.. Migrating to Pakistan in 1948 after the partition of India, Roshan Ara Begum settled in Lalamusa, a small town from which her husband hailed. She died on 6 December, 1982.
Mumtaz Shanti-Shwas a very popular movie star of the 40′s and her film Kismet (1943) is regarded as one of the biggest hits of Hindi cinema. Mumtaz started her career in the early thirties in Lahore, by working in a local theatre. She got a break in Lahore’s Mangti and was lured to Bombay. With the success of Basant (1942) and Kismet (1943) (in which she played a lame girl opposite Ashok Kumar) Mumtaz Shanti became one of the top actresses of Bombay Talkies.In the mid-fifties, she migrated to Pakistan along with her famous writer-director husband Wali-Saheb. Wali, who started his career as a writer in the early thirties in Lahore, used to write songs and stories for others before getting his first assignment as a director. Of the few films he directed in Bombay including Dekho-ji, Heer Ranjha and Putli,
Meena Shorey -Meena Shorey was born in 1921 in Raiwind, Pakistan. She was the silver screen temptress of the 40′s and the 50′s. One of Meena’s sisters married and moved to Bombay, and she and her mother followed.She started her acting career playing a character role, as Ambhi, Raja of Taxila's sister in Sohrab Modi's Sikandar (1941). Married to her third husband, Roop K. Shorey, by the mid-1940s, she found fame when she acted in her husband's film Ek Thi Ladki (1949), opposite actor Motilal. The story was written by I. S. Johar, who also starred in the film. She was one of the first women to be recognized in Indian cinema as a "comedienne of caliber"In 1956, she went to Lahore, Pakistan with her husband, where they were invited by Pakistani producer J.C. Anand to make a film there following her mass popularity with the public in both India and Pakistan..
Ghulam Ahmed Chishti-He is also sometimes referred to as Baba Chishti.
Working with filmi music, Chishti excelled at Punjabi compositions and was apt at weaving the design of influences around Punjabi music. With almost 5,000 tunes to his credit, he composed scores for 140–150 films and was the first musician to reach the 100s threshold. Chishti is responsible for bringing Noor Jehan to the Lahore stage when she was 9-years old in 1935. He gave music to films in Bombay but after the independence came back to Lahore. He died on 25 December, 1995, in Lahore.
Ghulam Haider-He was a well-known music composer who worked both in India and in Pakistan after independence. He changed the face of film songs by combining the popular Raags with the verve and rhythm of Punjabi music, and also raised the status of music directors. He is also known for giving a break to the well-known playback singer, Lata Mangeshkar. He started his career in 1935. Some of his hits are Gul Bakavli, Yamla Jat, Khzanchi, Humayun, Majboor, Shaheed, etc.