Manoj Kumar – the patriotic actor of bollywood
Manoj Kumar, better known as Bharat Kumar, was one of the most patriotic souls in bollywood who devoted his life towards the making of patriotic films. Born on 24th July, 1937, Harikishen Goswami, better known as Manoj Kumar, made his debut in the film Fashion in 1957. As he was obsessed towards Dilip Kumar, one of the greatest actor of bollywood and started keeping his name in the name of Manoj Kumar, the character played by Dilip Kumar in the film Shabnam.
He got recognition in Vijay Bhatt’s film Hariyali Aur Raasta, in 1962, opposite Mala Sinha, where the music of Shankar Jaikishan, became super hit and the film provided him stable place in bollywood. He got a notable role in Raj Khosla’s crime thriller “woh kaun thi” where the twin sister of his wife played by Sadhna was shown at different times to make him insane and he unfolded the truth on the death of the twin sister when everyone came to know that Sadhna was not ghost, but the villain Prem Chopra had used her to make Manoj Kumar insane and inherit the property according to the will created by his ancestors. It wasthe greatest horror film of that age and outstanding music of Madan Mohan had hypnotised the audience.
His next film directed by Vijay Bhatt titled Himalay Ki God Me, in 1965, was also successful. Manoj Kumar again acted in a suspense thriller titled Gumnam, where the members of dance club were hijacked and left in an island and the villain Tarun Bose went on killing one after the other. The music of Shankar Jaikishan was super hit with immortal songs of Lata titled “gumnam hai koi”, songs of Rafi titled “ek ladkine mera jina mushkil kar diya” and “o mere man”, etc. Also Mehmood’s song sung by Rafi, “hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai” amused the crowds.
From 1965, Manoj kumar associated himself with patriotic films and his film Shaheed based on the life of Bhagat Singh became very big hit with Rafi’s song “ay watan ay watan” creating patriotic passion in the minds of numerous Indians. Bhagat Singh had been remade in the recent years with Ajay Devgan and Bobby Deol playing the role that Manoj Kumar had played before. He was inspired by the slogan of Lal Bahadur Shastri, that is “jai jawan jai kisan” and made a film based on that subject titled Upkaar in 1967. the film showed the life of a farmer and also brought patriotic subject related to Indian army. Mahendra Kapoors’ song “mere desh ki dharti” became superhit and people identified Manoj Kumar as Bharat Kumar. Manoj Kumar received the film fare award for best direction for the film Upkaar.
Manoj Kumar’s other films like Aadmi, opposite Dilip Kumar, Patthar ke Sanam also became successful. Rafi’s title song in Patthar ke Sanam, astonished the listeners. He also acted in the film Do Badan, where music composed by Ravi and sung by Rafi, including “bhari duniya me”, etc., appealed to the crowd. Manoj Kumar continued with his patriotic films by either directing, or acting in films like Puram aur Paschim, Beimaan, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Kranti, etc. Puram aur Paschim depicted the relationship of life of the eastern countries and western countries.He received the film fare award for the best actor in 1972 for performing in the film Beimaan.
He also acted in a number of crime thrillers like Anita and in the major number of these films he played the role of the doctor. In the 80s his film Kranti, which was based on the freedom movement of India became successful with Dilip kumar, Shatrughun Sinha also providing notable performances. His films should be restored for revisiting the freedom struggle movement of India and admiring his patriotic spirit displayed in several films.