Monday, December 5, 2022

Gandhi Jayanti 2022: Performers who brought Gandhi and his ideals to life

On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 153rd birthday, acknowledging that his ideas and philosophy are still alive and cinema has in its way promoted it, his life will be brought on screen through several movies.
On the special occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, here’s a list of actors, who have given some memorable performances in films based on the Father of the Nation:
Ben Kingsley in ‘Gandhi’: This definitive biopic of the Mahatma and Richard Attenborough directorial starred Ben Kingsley in an Oscar-winning role and on its release in 1982, became an instant global success. The film followed Gandhi’s journey from South Africa to India where he became a mass leader helming the non-violent, non-cooperative Independence movement against the British.
Naseeruddin Shah in ‘Hey Ram’: The veteran actor finally got to play Gandhi in the 2000 Kamal Haasan directorial ‘Hey Ram’, a film about the futility of hate and violence. Even though the role was short, it was poignant and impactful as it shows how any crisis of faith between communities can be overcome through mutual trust and how only non-violence and not hate can transform people for the better.
Rajit Kapur in ‘The Making of the Mahatma’: In this 1996 Shyam Benegal directorial, Rajit Kapur portrayed Gandhi during the 21 momentous years in South Africa that went on to shape him as a leader who would one day wield such moral power that the likes of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. would be inspired by him. ‘The Making of the Mahatma’, based on Fatima Meer’s book, ‘The Apprenticeship of a Mahatma’, won Rajit Kapur a National Award.
Chirag Vohra in ‘Shobhayatra’: In Zee Theatre’s teleplay ‘Shobhayatra’, Chirag Vohra plays Gandhi but with a difference. Written by Shafaat Khan, the play highlights the loss of idealism that won us our nation’s independence. It depicts a few citizens eager to join a ‘Shobhayatra’ dressed as Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rani Laxmibai and Babu Genu but without really sharing the values of these icons.
Dilip Prabhavalkar in ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’: In this 2006 Raju Hirani directorial, Dilip Prabhavalkar played Gandhi with a genial, witty warmth and won over the hearts of millions of filmgoers. The comedy starring Sanjay Dutt in the lead depicted how virtually any issue in life can be solved by the Gandhian credo of truth-telling, honesty, humanism, and non-violence. The film won four National Film Awards.

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