Martyred in the prime of youth, at the age of 23, on March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was one of the bravest freedom fighters. Observed as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day, the day commemorates and pays tribute to the sacrifice and incredible display of courage of this legend.
Bhagat Singh remains to be one of the most influential, revolutionary figures in the Indian history and continues to serve as a tremendous source of inspiration for every generation.
As art imitates life, it was only natural that such a legendary figure would be the choicest of subjects for cinematic portrayal. On the patriot’s 90th death anniversary, let’s revisit Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s life through seven movies based on the iconic hero’s life.
Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh: After 23 years of his death (1954), this was the first film to be made on him. Mohammed Rafi’s ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Hamaare Dil Mein Hai’ from the film went on to become an iconic hit that is cherished even till this day.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh: Second film to be made on the legend released on 1963. Shammi Kapoor played the protagonist’s role, in this KN Bansal directorial venture.
Shaheed: Manoj Kumar portrayed Bhagat Singh’s role in this 1965 film directed by S Ram Sharma. It won the 13th National Awards, besides winning Best Feature Film in Hindi, Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and Best Story. The movie churned out some evergreen classics sung by Lata-Mukesh-Rafi-Manna Dey: Aye Watan, Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna, O Mera Rang De Basanti Chola, Pagadi Sambhaal Jattaa, that are hummed till this day.
Rang de Basanti: Reigniting the patriotism in the youth, this movie revolved around youngsters involved in portraying the lives of freedom fighters in a documentary within the film. This Rakesh Omprakash Mehra film was an unique, thought provoking magnum opus boasting of a brilliant ensemble cast comprising Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and British actress Alice Patten.
Shaheed-E-Azam: 2002 saw the release of three films based on Bhagat Singh’s life. Shaheed-E-Azam, directed by Sukumar Nair, was the first one to be released in 2002 among the three. Sonu Sood played Bhagat Singh’s role.
Shaheed: Titular role of Bhagat Singh was essayed by Bobby Deol in this film (2002). Unfolding events from the legend’s life, the movie directed by Guddu Dhanao, captures the significant contributions of the freedom fighter culminating to the moment of his capital punishment. Sunny Deol played Chandrasekhar Azad while Amrita Singh donned the role of Bhagat’s mother.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh: This Rajkumar Santhoshi movie bagged two National awards. Ajay Devgn essayed the titular role in this 2002 patriotic movie.