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Manoj Kumar - Mr. Bharat, the Patriot!
August 9, 2013 10:15:10 AM IST By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
Synonymous as Mr. Bharat, the patriot, Manoj Kumar has made India proud by making some really heart piercing patriotic movies like UPKAAR, PURAB AUR PASCHIM, ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAN, KRANTI etc. but it's a tragedy that he was reduced to more than a jester courtesy Farah Khan who in a her film OM SHANTI OM made fun of this legendary actor cum filmmaker!
Born on 24th July 1937 as Harikishen Goswami, he rechristened himself as Manoj Kumar after being strongly influenced by his favorite actor Dilip Kumar, whose movie SHABNAM (1949) he saw almost twenty one times and eventually decided to run away to Mumbai to become an actor like his favorite idol.
More than an actor Manoj Kumar is best remembered for his mastery as a filmmaker and scriptwriter. His excellence as a patriot emerged after he penned the movie SHAHEED (1965), about the revolutionary Bhagat Singh. The movie was a hit. Later it's reported once while traveling in a plane he happened to meet the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri who was quite impressed by his movie SHAHEED. Hence he requested the young man to make a film, which would bring home the slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', which Lal Bahadur Shastri had coined to vitalize the soldiers to protect India and encourage the farmers to bring green revolution.
Manoj Kumar obliged the prime Minister with UPKAAR. The movie won rave reviews and fetched Manoj Kumar not just the Best Director's Filmfare Award but also the Best movie, Best Story/Dialogue writer Award too!
Later with PURAB AUR PASCHIM he tackled the sensitive issue of Indians betraying mother India by going to foreign land in search of riches. In his next movie ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAN he exposed the corruption and the issue of inflation. In KRANTI he depicted the 1987 rebellion of Indian soldiers.
Even today he is active and planning a patriotic movie AAKHRI GOLI based on the life of martyr Chandrasekhar Azad.
He has been awarded the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sadbhawana Award-1999 for his contribution to Patriotic Cinema in Bollywood.