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Gulzar's AANDHI and the controversy that made headlines in media

August 26, 2013 4:12:18 PM IST
updated May 30, 2014 6:57:51 PM IST
By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
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Yesterday we read about Gulzar's foray into filmmaking, today let's read about his most talked about film AANDHI, which went into trouble during the emergency phase in the mid 70's.


According to reports AANDHI was released at time when the nation was going through turmoil and the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency in country. The alleged reason for the ban imposed on AANDHI was the protagonist's character which had striking similarities with the then ruling Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Suchitra Sen, the leading lady who portrayed a leader of a political party was given remarkable appearance similar to Indira Gandhi. From the typical saris she wore to the get-up with a silver streak akin to the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Suchitra Sen even borrowed the same brisk walking style of Indira Gandhi and speech delivery. To add fuel to fire the movie had few scenes depicting the heroine smoking and drinking. Hence the movie was banned!

What would stun the readers is that AANDHI was banned when the movie was running to packed houses in Mumbai and was in its 24th week, one week short of its Silver Jubilee week, thus spoiling its party.

Interestingly the ban was later removed when after Inder Kumar Gujral, who was the Information and broadcasting minister, saw the movie. He was impressed by the movie and gave a clean chit; got convinced that the movie had no connection with the life of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The other high note of AANDHI was its 'surprise' music by R. D. Burman, 'surprise'- because R. D. Burman till then was recognized only for his 'western' beats while in AANDHI he gave completely 'classical' music, which even left the music critics to 'rub' their eyes!

Gulzar who had seen R. D. Burman since childhood, when he used to come on sets with his great music director father, S. D. Burman, had quite earlier noticed musical mystics in the young Burman. Once Gulzar had said, ''I knew Pancham (R. D. Burman lovingly called in filmdom) had a great potentiality as a music composer. But it was up to the buyers to seek the product. He had tons of music to offer each and every customer. It's tragic that only a few could tap his full potentiality.''

Truly Gulzar deserves kudos for extracting excellent music from R.D. Burman just take a look at few of gems that he has composed for Gulzar

Aajkal Paon Zamin Par Nahin Padte ...(GHAR)

Is Mod Se Jate Hain ...(AANDHI)

Aanewala Pal Janewala Hai ...(GOLMAAL)

Tujhse Naraz Nahin Zindagi...(MASOOM)




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