It indeed is ironic that the man who gave an international footing to the Indian film industry in such a big way like nobody else did, did not find any of the beneficiaries being a party to immersion of his ashes when it was done on the eve of his death anniversary. But that has how it has been with Mahatma Gandhi and that is the reason why he keeps on invoking so many new fan followers. Where one to strictly look into the role that Gandhi has played in the Hindi films over period of times, one would appear as a recurring motif is that he has given a new recognition to the films wherever they have gone in details to focus on an aspect of his life.
Gandhiji used to appear in various songs from the era of Black & White days, and also as a regular fixture in the frame of police stations in various films. The first real success that made world take notice of this man was when Richard Attenborough made GANDHI and what various written works could not do to make him popular was done by this film. This also points out to a rather ignorant fact of Hindi Films that the historical figures do not figure on a regular basis in the various films that are made here, as it is the case in all the other industries around the world. This was also the film that fetched the only Oscar that an Indian has been awarded with.
Gandhi came into prominence in a very forceful manner with LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI and the way Gandhi was rediscovered after this film and the interest that it revived in Gandhi across all generations, should have sort of cajoled those associated with this film to make it a point to be associated with the immersion of his sprays.
MAINE GANDHI KO NAHIN MAARA, GANDHI MY FATHER etc, followed LRMB. Anil Kapoor decided to make his official debut as a producer with GANDHI MY FAHTER, and after GANDHI MY FATHER Akshaye Khanna got a new respect added to his persona as an actor. The same happened with Anupam Kher after MAINE GANDHI KO NAHIN MAARA. Both these films may not have been a commercial success, but they were claimed critically and were instrumental in highlighting new aspects associated with the life of Gandhi.
Till a few years ago Gandhi was remembered throughout the country by blowing of hooters and sirens on 30 January, but inexplicably this practice was stopped. Probably as a tribute to this great man, Hindi film industry could come up with its own idea of paying tribute to him on his death anniversary and could make it a regular fixture in their itinerary. If industry does it, it would indeed go a long way in reviving the glory of this great man, for whom Einstein had correctly said, “Saints like him, walk rarely on earth.”