December 11, 2013 11:31:51 AM IST By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
Dilip Kumar has the privilege of acting opposite great actors of Indian cinema. From Prithviraj Kapoor (MUGHAL-E-AZAM), Sohrab Modi (YAHUDI) , Moti Lal (DEVDAS), Balraj Sahni (SANGHARSH), Raaj Kumar (SAUDAGAR) and Amitabh Bachchan (SHAKTI). However, the only actor who has overshadowed Dilip Kumar till date has been, any guess....? Yes, you have rightly guessed. He is none other but the exceptional Sanjeev Kumar. And what's amazing is that Dilip Kumar has no regrets, instead the thespian himself applauded him and rated him as country's 'finest' actor!
Sanjeev Kumar had the pleasure of acting opposite Dilip Kumar in two movies viz. SANGHARSH and VIDHAATA and in both the movies Sanjeev Kumar excelled. Interestingly, when Sanjeev Kumar got the opportunity to act opposite Dilip Kumar in SANGHARSH, he was a struggling actor. However, he grabbed the opportunity with both the hands. In fact his role in the movie was not more than a cameo but in that minuscule role he shined. Dilip Kumar was so overwhelmed by his performance that later when he was offered to play nine roles in the movie NAYA DIN NAYA RAAT(1974), which had been earlier portrayed by south legends Sivaji Ganesan in NAVARATHRI (Tamil; 1964) and Akkineni Nageswara Rao in NAVARATHRI (Telugu; 1966), the filmmakers insisted that Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar portray this role but Dilip Kumar rather recommended Sanjeev Kumar's name and to encourage Sanjeev Kumar he gave a background commentary at the beginning of the movie. In this commentary, praising Sanjeev Kumar Dilip Kumar said that the nine different roles have been portrayed by our country's 'finest' actor!