One of the biggest historical figures, Mahatma Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) was born on the 2nd of October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. He was given the name ‘Mahatma’ by the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. Known for his philosophies of non-violence or ahimsa, Bapu’s birth anniversary is celebrated as International Day of Non-Violence, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly. As India celebrates the 152nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday, let’s revisit the epic persona of Bapu through these gripping films based around his life and his ideology.
Hey Ram (2000)
This semi-fictional movie is centred on India’s Partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. While Gandhi is portrayed by veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, Kamal Hasan plays the role of Saket Ram, a Hindu fundamentalist. The film revolves around a fictional character called Saket Ram (Kamal Haasan), who is torn apart by the violence of the Partition and holds Gandhiji responsible for it. He plots to kill the Mahatma but later circumstances force him to change his mind.
He later leads his life according to Gandhian principles. ‘Hey Ram’ is a historical drama film written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan. The film also stars Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji.
Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005)
While this film is not based on Mahatma Gandhi’s life, the film can be interpreted to indirectly represent Gandhi’s importance in the lives of the people in general. The film revolves around a retired Hindi professor, Uttam Chaudhary, played by Anupam Kher, who suffers from dementia, which ultimately causes him to think that he is accused of killing Gandhi.
Uttam believes he killed Gandhi by accidentally playing with a toy gun that had real bullets in it and shot Gandhi. Urmila Matondkar plays the role of his daughter Trisha, who undergoes the overwhelming journey of taking care of her father’s health.
The story eventually uncovers the reason behind his trauma which stems from a childhood incident. The film was directed by Jahnu Barua and produced by Anupam Kher.
Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)
This film takes an interesting spin in presenting Gandhian philosophy in the present context. The film attempted to portray that Gandhi’s principles, based on kindness, love and non-violence, that played a pivotal role in protests against the British Raj, are still applicable to achieve love and harmony in current personal and social issues.
What is more interesting is that Sanjay Dutt’s character, Munna, is a kind-hearted goon, who learns about these principles to woo Vidya Balan’s character, Jhanvi, but eventually undergoes a lot of ideological changes as he keeps moving closer and deeper into the Gandhian ideology of non-violence.
Some of the most fun Gandhigiri scenes of the film include those of people practising Gandhiji’s ideology in their lives, based on Munna’s advice on Jhanvi’s radio show. The film was directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Other pivotal members of the cast include Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Dia Mirza and Jimmy Sheirgill. The role of Mahatma Gandhi was played by Dilip Prabhavalkar.
Gandhi my father (2007)
This film showcases the life of Mahatma Gandhi as a father, an aspect of the life of the Father of the Nation which is often less talked about. The film is based on Gandhiji’s son Harilal Gandhi’s biography, ‘Harilal Gandhi: A Life’ by Chandulal Bhagubhai Dalal. The film is based on the point of view and life of Gandhiji’s eldest son Harilal, played by Akshaye Khanna, who felt overshadowed by his illustrious father.
The father-son had a strained relationship owing to differences in opinions and life choices. Harilal’s ambition was to study abroad and become a barrister like his father, while Gandhi hoped that his son would join him and fight for his ideals and causes in India. Facing disappointment most of his life, Harilal turns to alcoholism and religious conversion to Islam, and then back to a different sect of Hinduism later. With political tension was heating up, the rift between Gandhi and his eldest son grows beyond repair.
Gandhi is assassinated before the two can reconcile and Harilal attends his father’s crowded funeral as a stranger, unrecognisable to those around him. Darshan Jariwala was terrific as Gandhiji and so was Shefali Shah as Kasturba Gandhi. The film was directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by Anil Kapoor.
Partition 1947 (2017)
While this film on partition focuses on the last viceroy Lord Mountbatten and Indian employees in the viceroy’s house, the film does portray Gandhi as well, who does not approve of the partition. In a scene in which people of the country can be seen celebrating independence, Mahatma Gandhi is shown sleeping as he believed that there is nothing to celebrate because of the horrific partition.
‘Partition 1947’ focuses on the plight of people during partition and the crack in Hindu-Muslim love and friendship. The film has a powerful star cast including Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi and Om Puri. The role of Mahatma Gandhi is played by Neeraj Kabi.
The film was directed by Gurinder Chadha and produced by Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha and Deepak Nayar. So, with these incredible movies, let’s honour the memory of the Mahatma this Gandhi Jayanti in Bollywood style.
-With ANI inputs