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Bhagat Singh Birth Anniversary: 7 Bollywood Movies Inspired by Him

Thanks to popular films and books, Bhagat Singh remains a significant figure in Indian history. Many Bollywood supetrstars like Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn have worked in films based on his life.

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Updated:September 28, 2019, 10:04 AM IST
Bhagat Singh Birth Anniversary: 7 Bollywood Movies Inspired by Him
A wax figure of Bhagat Singh is displayed at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Delhi on October 24, 2017. (Image: Pradeep Pradhan/News18)

Bhagat Singh, an Indian socialist revolutionary, whose acts of dramatic violence against the British in India and execution at age 23 made him a hero in India's struggle for independence, was born on September 28, 1907.

Bhagat Singh remains a significant figure in Indian iconography to the present day with his memory being kept alive through several films that have been made portraying the life and times of Singh with the first being Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh (1954) in which Prem Abeed played the role of Singh followed by Shaheed Bhagat Singh (1963), starring Shammi Kapoor as Bhagat Singh.

Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh (1954): Based on the life of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's life, the mivie Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh was directed by Jagdish Gautama. The film had actors Prem Abeed, Jairaj, Smriti Biswas and Ashita Mazumdar in the pivotal roles. This was the first film that was made on Bhagat Singh, 23 years after his death. A patriotic song ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Hamaare Dil Mein Hai’ from the film sung by Mohammed Rafi is still played on national holidays.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh (1963): Almost after a decade, the second film based on the life of revolutionary Bhagat Singh was released. Legendary actor Shammi Kapoor essayed the role of Bhagat Singh in the film which also starred Shakeela, Premnath and Achla Sachdev. The film Shaheed Bhagat Singh was directed by KN Bansal.

Shaheed (1965): Two year later, actor-filmmaker Manoj Kumar came up with a film based on Bhagat Singh. With a stark similarity in looks, Manoj Kumar played the role of Bhagat Singh in the film which also starred Prem Chopra, Anant Purushottam, Pran, Nirupa Roy among others. Even today, the film is regarded as one of the classics of Indian cinema. Shaheed bagged the 13th National Awards, along with awards for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and Best Story.

Shaheed had the entire nation humming to its patriotic compositions like - Aye Watan Aye Watan Humko Teri Kasam, Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna, O Mera Rang De Basanti Chola and Pagadi Sambhaal Jattaa - with the voices of Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Manna De gracing the vocals. These songs became evergreen hits since the release of the film.

After a gap of 38 years, the year 2002 the resurgence of stories on life of Bhagat Singh with as many as three films released in the same year.

Shaheed-E-Azam (2002): The first film to release in the year on the life of Bhagar Singh, Shaheed-E-Azam starred Sonu Sood in the titular role. The roles of Chandrashekar Azad and Rajguru were played by Raj Zutshi and Dev Gill respectively. The film was firected by Sukumar Nair.

23 March 1931: Shaheed (2002): Directed by Guddu Dhanao, the film depicted the events of Bhagat Singh's life leading up to his and his companions Rajguru and Sukhdev's hanging on March 23, 1931. The role of Bhagat Singh in the film was played by Bobby Deol, while his brother Sunny Deol essayed the role of Chandrashekhar Azad. The film also featured Amrita Singh, Rahul Dev, Divya Dutta and Aishwarya Rai in a special appearance.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002): The third film released on the life of Bhagat Singh in 2002, saw Ajay Devgn essay the titular role. The film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi focused on how the revolutionary freedom fighter developed his independent views against the British Raj and the development of his ideologies, right from witnessing the death of Lala Lajpat Rai to the reopening of the Saunders' murder case.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh bagged two National Awards, including the Best Feature Film in Hindi and Best Actor for Ajay Devgn.

Rang De Basanti (2006): Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rang De Basanti saw an ensemble cast including Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and British actor Alice Patten in lead roles. The film released on Republic Day in 2006 took a different approach towards the legend of Bhagat Singh and made it relatable as well as connectable for the modern youth. Tamil actor Siddharth Narayan portrayed the role of Bhagat Singh in the film.

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