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When Dilip Kumar turned down V. Shantaram's film

November 18, 2014 3:36:43 PM IST
By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
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Distinguished filmmaker V. Shantaram became immortal with his black and white classic DO ANKHEN BARAH HAATH, the movie that is still remembered for its soul stirring bhajan Aye Maalik Tere Bande Hum


The movie not only won the President's Gold Medal in 1957 but also showered on V. Shantaram multiple International awards that included the prestigious Silver Bear at Berlin film festival and Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Samuel Goldwyn award. Thus, placing V. Shantaram amidst stalwarts such as Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan and Guru Dutt.

November 18 marks the birth anniversary of the legendary actor, producer and director V. Shantaram; Glamsham.Com remembers him and reveals some interesting anecdotes related to his masterpiece DO ANKHEN BARAH HAATH. Read on…

The movie depicted the tale of reforming criminals by love and affection. It preached the message that instead of keeping criminals in jail, they must be kept in open prison and treated humanitarianly.  Readers would be surprised to know that what the movie depicted was actually being practiced in Swatantrapur jail, a princely state of Aundh near Satara. Now Swatantrapur is part of Atpadi tehsil in Sangli district of Maharashtra.

As the subject was powerful and universal Shantaram wished to cast Dilip Kumar in the lead role so that his star appeal could take the message far and wide. In fact he even approached Dilip Kumar and cajoled him to do the lead role but the thespian turned down the role speculating the success of its unconventional theme at the box-office. However, later when Dilip Kumar saw the movie he was mesmerized and regretted losing a tour de force movie. Nevertheless, he did compliment V. Shantaram for a making a marvelous film.

The movie is remembered as Shantaram's greatest work but very few know that the movie would have turned out to be Shantaram's career's last work, as while shooting the climax of the bull fight sequence Shantaram was critically injured but fortunately survived. His eyes were badly injured and he had to be on bed rest for many days with bandaged eyes.


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