Monday, August 27, 2012

A K Hangal, Bal Thackeray & Syed Talat Hussain.

Jingoism: Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism. The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude towards Russia in the 1870s. "Jingoism" did not enter the American vernacular until near the end of the 19th century. This nationalistic belligerence was intensified by the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbour that led to the Spanish-American War of 1898. Wikipedia

Fascism: is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek elevation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity. They are united by suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical training, and eugenics. Fascism seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture. Fascism was founded during World War I by Italian national syndicalists who combined left-wing and right-wing political views. Fascists have commonly opposed having a firm association with any section of the left-right spectrum, considering it inadequate to describe their beliefs, though fascism's goal to promote the rule of people deemed innately superior while seeking to purge society of people deemed innately inferior is identified as a prominent far-right theme. Wikipedia

Artists, Intellectuals, Scholars, Authors are universal, they have no boundaries, they are watched, read, quoted, and consulted respectively without any passport and immigration but Talat Hussain (a property of Hameed Haroon and Amber Saigol and Dawn News) think otherwise recently when Giant Pakistani Artist Mehdi Hasan passed away people of India expressed deep sorrow and grief without bothering about Partition, his nationality, colour, religion, passport, or any other divide and duly honoured Great Mehdi Hasan with Respect and Good words, Talat Hussain, Hameed Haroon and Amber Saigol's Alleged Honour was sleeping somewhere when Indians were praising Mehdi Hasan but suddenly "The Sick Patriotism" comes alive in Talat Hussain, Hameed Haroon, Amber Saigol and Dawn News when Pakistanis reciprocated the same honour to a recently departed Indian Artist Rajesh Khanna. Talat Hussain and Dawn News vomited venom in an already venomous atmosphere without bothering about the fact that Mehdi Hasan was born on that side of Border which is now India (in Rajasthan) and Rajesh Khanna had his roots in Burewala, Punjab, Pakistan, A K Hangal born in Sialkot (Punjab) and now both sides are two different countries courtesy alleged Founding Fathers and Alleged Freedom Fighters of now Both sides. By the way A K Hangal lived early part of his life in Sialkot, Peshawar, and Karachi. Now Talat Hussain and no good Hameed Haroon and Dawn News should start Tabbarra on Sialkot, Peshawar, and Karachi. Tribute to Rajesh Khanna (1942 to 2012) Part - 1 Tribute to Rajesh Khanna (1942 to 2012) Part - 2 Tribute to Ghazal Maestro Mehdi Hasan by Alauddin Khanzada & Asif Noorani. Tribute to Ghazal Maestro Mehdi Hasan by Alauddin Khanzada & Asif Noorani

Down Memory Lane With A K Hangal

A K Hangal with Comrade Sobho Gianchandani Honouring Sajjad Zaheer: NEW DELHI: India’s distinguished movie actor and communist ideologue A.K. Hangal died in a Mumbai hospital on Sunday following a brief illness, Press Trust of India said. It said his son Vijay Hangal, a retired still cameraman in Bollywood, appealed for help after failing to meet Hangal’s medical expenses. Several Bollywood celebrities like the Bachchans, producer-director Vipul Shah, and actors Mithun Chakraborty, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan came forward to help him. The 95-year-old character actor and veteran of the fabled progressive cultural troupe, the Indian Peoples’ Theatre Association (IPTA), passed away at 9am at the Asha Parekh Hospital in suburban Santacruz in Mumbai, where he was admitted on Aug 16 after fracturing his thigh bone. Best known for his one-liner from blockbuster Sholay — Itna sannaata kyun hai bhai (why so much silence is there), Hangal entered Bombay cinema when he was in his 40s and went on to act in over 200 films. He endeared himself to the audience by playing the role of the lovable old man in films like Sholay, Shaukeen and Namak Haram, “This is really a sad thing…now I am left all alone. I have no words to describe his loss,” Vijay Hangal told PTI. “He was a strong man…he has been a great support to me,” he said. Avtaar Veenit Kishan Hangal was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family in Sialkot and came to the city of dreams — then known as Bombay — at the age of 21. PT said he made an impressive mark as the old man who gets up and joins the troupe in the song Ghanan Ghanan, where he sang one line Kale Megha Kale Megha Pani To Barsao in Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan. The actor was honoured with the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Hindi cinema in 2006, was in the news last year for living a life in penury. Recently, he returned to face the studio lights after several years for TV series Madhubala, PTI said. REFERENCE: Legendary Indian actor Hangal dies in penury Veteran Indian actor A.K. Hangal dies at 95

A K Hangal left alone

AK Hangal dies at 97, bigwigs skip funeral : Not a single big name from the film industry turned up for the cremation of veteran character actor A K Hangal on Sunday. The 97-year-old, a veteran of over 225 films, passed away early in the morning at Asha Parekh hospital in Vile Parle following a brief illness aggravated by a fracture of his thigh bone. Only character actors like Rakesh Bedi and Raza Murad and friends like Ila Arun were present for the last rites. But that didn't really matter to a man who had dedicated his life to theatre, cinema and social issues. Some theatre enthusiasts posted comments on social networking sites. One of these said that another acting academy had shut down. Hangal was one of the most endearing old men of the film industry with roles in Sholay, Namak Haram and Shaukeen. His one-liner from Sholay, 'Itna sannata kyon hain bhai', achieved cult status.

Sholay's Rahim Chacha had to depend on Bollywood for aid to fight illness. But the actor, who swore by leftist philosophy, believed that the state needs to accept the responsibilities of senior citizens. His son Vijay said, "My father was highly spirited and fought till the end. He survived even after life support was taken off." He added, "He even shot a small scene for the TV serial Madhubala despite his poor health. The moment the camera was switched on, his energy came back.'' Fashion designer Riyaz Gangji, who would visit the actor almost every day, said, "When I asked him if he wanted life support back, he said no.'' Hangal had walked the ramp for the designer last year. Murad said, "The actors would've come if a political party summoned them. But they didn't have an hour to spare to pay their last respects to the man who gave 50 years to the industry and worked with all top stars.'' Hangal started his film career rather late. The actor, who participated in the freedom movement, started off as a tailor. He got associated with actors like Balraj Sahni, Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azmi, who persuaded him to act. He entered the film industry at the age of 50 with Basu Bhattacharya's Teesri Kasam.

Though new to the industry, he was not afraid to express his anger over Raj Kapoor walking onto the set late. Hangal was very vocal about his political views. He had faced a ban on his film career after the Shiv Sena objected to his attending a function organized by the Pakistan consulate in Mumbai in the 1990s. A Communist Party of India member, Hangal continued to renew his membership every year. Hangal acted in over 225 films in his film career spanning over four decades. He played the roles of a father, uncle or housekeeper to many a big star, including Jaya Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. He had cut down on acting for 10 years, but did small roles in Aamir Khan's Lagaan and Shah Rukh Khan's Paheli. The actor's financial condition became an issue with his health falling and his son Vijay having to stop work to look after his father. After reports about Hangal's poor financial condition, the information and broadcasting ministry announced a plan for health insurance of retired actors which has not yet materialized. Vijay said, "The industry's aid did help us pull through all his medical needs. Though film industry bigwigs were not there, his friends from IPTA and character actors attended the cremation. We are planning a condolence meeting at Prithvi Theatre at 4pm on Monday.'' AK Hangal dies at 97, bigwigs skip funeral TNN | Aug 27, 2012, 05.53AM IST

Bollywood Comes finally for A K Hangal

AK Hangal: Bal Thackeray once called him a traitor Hangal was drawn to Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) in India. He started working with Balraj Sahni and Kaifi Azmi in IPTA. In his late 40s, Hangal was offered the part of Raj Kapoor's brother in 1966 film "Teesri Kasam" by director Basu Bhattacharya but his scenes were removed from the film. There was no looking back for him after that. He starred in over 200 films. His mostly played roles of father, uncle, grandfather or that of a meek and harassed old man, an image he could never get rid off. The veteran actor suffered a political backlash in 1993 when he applied for visa to visit his birthplace in Pakistan. He was invited and attended the Pakistan day celebrations by the consulate in Mumbai thereby incurring the wrath of the Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray took offence and called him a traitor. A call to boycott his films was made, his effigies were burnt and his scenes were deleted from films. He bounced back after two years with character roles in Amitabh Bachchan's home production "Tere Mere Sapne" and Aamir Khan's "Lagaan". He last shot for Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Paheli" in 2005.

He was awarded Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Hindi cinema in 2006.

The actor was in news last year for living a life in penury. His son Vijay, a retired still cameraman in Bollywood, appealed for help after failing to meet Hangal's medical expenses. Several Bollywood celebrities like the Bachchans, producer-director Vipul Shah, and actors Mithun Chakraborty, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan came forward to help him. He returned to face the studio lights again recently after a gap of seven years for TV show 'Madhubala'. Having reached the sets on wheelchair, Hangal was not sure if he would be able to handle it physically. But he came in his elements once the cameras started rolling. He has a 74-year-old son Vijay with late wife Manorama. REFERENCE: AK Hangal: Bal Thackeray once called him a traitor PTI Aug 26, 2012, 11.05AM IST

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tribute to Rajesh Khanna (1942 to 2012) Part - 2

NEW DELHI, July 18: He carried his fame lightly. He was a stout-hearted Punjabi from Amritsar who probably forgot to take care of his liver and perished at 69 to its seductions. Women flirted with his images for all of the two decades or more when he ruled Mumbai’s film industry as India’s first and possibly only superstar. Female fans worshipped his framed pictures and slit their wrists when he married Dimple Kapadia, a one-movie starlet in 1973, when she was half his age. Rajiv Gandhi, in his last political duty before flying to his death in Tamil Nadu, came to vote for him when he switched from films to politics in the 1991 parliamentary elections. Rajesh Khanna was narrowly defeated in that election from New Delhi by opposition leader L.K. Advani. But when Advani quit the seat in favour of his election from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Rajesh Khanna easily beat rival and fellow actor Shatrughan Sinha in the ensuing contest to enter parliament. He had replaced Amitabh Bachchan as the Gandhi family’s Mumbai mascot. Naturally, Sonia Gandhi grieved Rajesh Khanna’s death in Mumbai on Wednesday and so did Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among millions of Indians. In Pakistan, special programmes were broadcast by TV channels to mark the passing of an era. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf described him as a “great actor”. Ordinary fans from across the border took to social networking websites to share their sorrow and memories. In a special message, Prime Minister Ashraf said Khanna was “a great actor whose contribution to the field of films and arts would be long remembered”. REFERENCE: In death, Rajesh Khanna unites India, Pakistan Jawed Naqvi | 19th July, 2012

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He said Khanna had a “large fan following across the borders and captivated audiences with his excellent acting skills”. He said he shared the grief of the bereaved family. In a message to Khanna’s daughter Twinkle, Prime Minister Singh recalled the fame of the late actor and noted that his popularity as a romantic hero in the 1960s and 1970s is a part of our film folklore. Observing that Khanna was a celebrated artiste who entertained millions of Indians with his performance in a variety of films, Dr Singh said: “His legacy will live on in the form of the numerous entertaining and acclaimed films that he leaves behind.” The prime minister noted that the late actor was called the first superstar of the Indian cinema and the powerful roles he essayed in classics like Anand, Aradhana, Kati Patang and Amar Prem stand testimony to his artistic genius. Some years ago, the new reigning movie star Shahrukh Khan had described Rajesh Khanna as the only superstar the Indian film industry ever had. REFERENCE: In death, Rajesh Khanna unites India, Pakistan Jawed Naqvi | 19th July, 2012

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Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna, who passed away last week after a prolonged illness, was the first actor to give 15 super-hit flicks in three years.
As the winner of the United Producers Talent Contest in 1965, Rajesh Khanna had come a long way. He was a not overtly handsome, yet ’70s actresses like Waheeda Rehman desired to be cast opposite him. He didn’t have the ideal built of a he-man, yet no other actor has since commanded a female following like him. Above all, he wasn’t even the best actor produced in India, but it was his charisma, a shake of the head and stylish antics that saw him leap over the likes of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor as well as Dev Anand to super stardom. Born as Jatin Arora on December 29, 1942, and adopted by his father’s childless relatives, he was named Rajesh Khanna by his uncle so that he could do well in films. It is even said that after winning the talent contest, he went for auditions in an MG sports car, something unheard of in those days. Financially he was stronger than most of the leading men of his era, even before he landed blockbusters. Several reports from that era suggest that many girls in India married his photograph, applying their own blood as sindoor to solemnise the ceremony. Pampered in his youth and worshipped as an actor, Rajesh had an enviable career. His first movie, Aakhri Khat (1966) did well, but couldn’t rival the success of Shammi Kapoor’s Teesri Manzil or Dharmendra’s Phool Aur Pathar. His next few films — Raaz, Baharon Kay Sapne and Aurat — didn’t do well at the box office either. However, Aradhana (1969) started a chain reaction that saw him deliver hits after hits, including the songless Ittefaq and commercial flicks like Bandhan, Do Raaste, Khamoshi, The Train, Succha Jhoota, Safar, Kati Patang, Anand and Haathi Mere Saathi. He also gave screenwriters Salim-Javed (who later delivered hits like Sholay, Kaala Pathar and Shakti) their first break in Haathi Mere Saathi. Even Amitabh Bachchan admits that before he became an actor, he was a Rajesh Khanna fan. Rajesh Khanna adjusted comfortably into any role offered to him — be it the sculptor in his debut movie Aakhri Khat, the air force pilot in Aradhna, the cancer patient in Anand, the forest office in Kati Patang, the cook in Bawarchi or the working class hero of Namak Haram. Rajesh Khanna’s popularity suffered declined in the latter part of his career by way with his typical acting and inability to improvise in the films of the ’80s and beyond. — O.A. REFERENCE: Final farewell 29th July, 2012

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Located on the old road from Multan to Delhi, the town of Burewala in Vehari district in southern Punjab was once known primarily for the shrine of Hazrat Baba Haji Sher Dewan. Irrigated by the Pakpattan Canal during the British Raj, it became part of the fertile agricultural lands known as the Canal Colonies. It must have been a very small place, a kind of a qasba in the years leading up to partition. Since then, the productivity of land and the galloping population increase, have contributed to this once small town becoming fairly big even by Pakistani standards (its population was about 1,89,000 in 2006). It was in these environs that Rajesh Khanna was born in Burewala in 1942. His father Lala Hira Nand Khanna was the first headmaster of MC Model Boys High School there -- from April 1, 1931 until retiring on March 28, 1947, months before Partition. The headmaster must have struggled to instil the virtues of education to people more thrilled by the force of numbers and fascinated by shortcuts to wealth and fame. A board at the school still bears his name. Rajesh Khanna studied till Class 1 in the local primary school. His ancestral home, a two-storey structure with arched windows, still stands in Block H of Burewala. The name "Jatin Niwas" is still visible, inscribed in Hindi at the main gate of the family house, to which the current residents have made few changes. Next to it is an old temple. As Khanna's last rites began in Mumbai, Burewala residents gathered at MC Model High School to hold a condolence meeting, including a five-minute silence. REFERENCE: Rajesh Khanna of Burewala By Sarwat Ali Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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The family migrated along with millions after Partition to settle in Amritsar, the first urban settlement after crossing the lines drawn by Radcliffe. It was here that the young Rajesh Khanna must have gone to school and nurtured his dream of becoming a filmstar. The kind of fame and accolades that he drew must have been beyond his own imagination or expectations. From his first lovely debut with Akhri Khat to his first real box office hit Aradhana he must have struggled for a firm foothold in an industry that was planning a makeover into the third generation of films after independence, if Dilip Kumar represented the first generation and Shammi Kapoor the second. But in Aradhana, Sharmila Tagore and the compositions of S.D. Burman ushered in a new era not shy of tackling issues that the new educated middle classes in the cities were being confronted with. Still locked in the conflict of the traditional values with the demands of modernity, the first popular expression on the side of modernity came in the form of the films being made in the late nineteen sixties. Since Partition, Burewala has been famous for the textile industry. The town subsequently shot into limelight with the emergence of Waqar Younis, the fast bowler from the same town. Along with Wasim Akram, he struck terror in the heart of batsmen; the two dreaded Ws ran through many a batting line-up including the Indians.

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Cricketers and filmstars are popular across the divide. Pakistani fast bowlers, in particular, are the heartthrobs of fans on both sides and admired by connoisseurs of the game. Even when Indian films were totally banned in Pakistan, with no Amritsar television or video cassette recorders (VCRs) to provide a sneak peek, Pakistanis talked about Indian films and gossiped about the doings and misdoings of Bollywood stars. During that time, LPs and 78 rpm discs made music available to those who could afford such luxuries. Radio in India was one medium that broadcast Indian film music followed by avid listeners all over Pakistan. It can be said with great deal of certainty that the people in Pakistan lapped up whatever happened in Bombay, and to a lesser degree in Calcutta or Madras. Similarly, listeners across the border listened very critically to the songs of Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hasan. In fact, it was on radio that Lata Mangeshkar first heard Mehdi Hasan sing, and she could not help paying him the highest compliments.

The Khannas, a sub-section of the well-established Khatri clan of the Punjab, were active in many fields. They also lived in Lahore and were famous for their contribution to the field of education. Some had converted to Christianity and stayed back after Partition to continue doing what they could do best.

With Amritsar Television and then the advent of the VCR, Rajesh Khanna became the heartthrob of many women. They loved his cheekiness, his bold wooing and carefree mannerisms; with tearful eyes they sighed with him as he staggered seeking solace in the arms of Sharmila Tagore in Amar Prem. He was the innocent man, harmed as he went seeking love, often unsuccessfully. Men and women alike admired him for playing roles in films that did not fit into the boy-meet-girl sing and dance format, like his film Anand.

The late sixties and seventies saw the prime of Rajesh Khanna, as he made many a film which did well at the box office only because of his presence. This was also the time when Indian cinema made a comeback into the lives of Pakistanis, who till then had been forced to rely only on the written and spoken word. He symbolised the era in which people in Pakistan who had seen the films of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were reunited with productions emanating from the sub-continent's cinema capital. Looking back, we see that so many from the areas that are now in Pakistan headed towards Bombay; some stayed there. Rajesh Khanna also took this path via Amritsar because his family had moved there in after partition.

Tribute to Rajesh Khanna (1942 to 2012) Part - 1

MUMBAI: Rajesh Khanna, often referred to as the “first superstar” of Bollywood and the Hindi film industry’s biggest heart-throb in his day, died on Wednesday after months of being unwell. He was 69. Khanna, who had been sick since April with an undisclosed illness rumoured to be cancer, passed away at his family home in Mumbai after being discharged from hospital on Tuesday, reports said. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led an outpouring of grief on Twitter where fans reminisced over his greatest movies and wished his wife and two daughters well. “I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and countless fans and admirers of Shri Rajesh Khanna,” said Singh’s official Twitter feed. Known as “Kaka” (uncle) to his fans, Khanna was not from an acting dynasty like many big Bollywood names. He was born in the city of Amritsar in the northwest of India in 1942 and enjoyed being on stage from his school days. He made his film debut in “Aakhri Khat” (The Last Letter) in 1966 but his big break came with runaway hit “Aaradhna” (Worship) three years later, followed by a string of successes, with Khanna typically as the romantic lead. His prominent hits of the 1970s included “Kati Patang” (Broken Kite), “Anand” (Happiness) and “Amar Prem” (Everlasting Love). In total he appeared in more than 150 Hindi films. REFERENCE: Rajesh Khanna dies in Mumbai AFP | 18th July, 2012

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Khanna’s entry to the industry came at a time when fans were looking beyond fading stars of Bollywood legends such as Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. He was soon getting letters written in blood by his female fans and his car was marked with lipstick stains wherever he went. There were even reports of his female admirers marrying his photographs. British broadcaster Jack Pizzey in a 1973 BBC documentary “Bombay Superstar” described Khanna as having the charisma of Italian actor Rudolph Valentino and the arrogance of Napoleon. Many Indian hearts were broken when he married young actress Dimple Kapadia in 1973. They had two daughters and later separated, but she returned to look after him during his final days of illness. REFERENCE: Rajesh Khanna dies in Mumbai AFP | 18th July, 2012

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Despite his huge success, Khanna’s star was later eclipsed by that of actor Amitabh Bachchan, who emerged in the early 1970s as an anti-establishment hero in roles as an angry young man. Indian audiences began to lose their taste for Khanna-style romances and family dramas, while Bachchan’s roles identified with the frustration of the country’s youth, struggling with a lack of opportunities during a closed economy. Khanna never quite regained his superstar status, although he did make a comeback in 1983 with two hits, including “Avtaar”, a story of a father abandoned by his children. He released another 11 films the following year. REFERENCE: Rajesh Khanna dies in Mumbai AFP | 18th July, 2012

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Later in the decade he moved into politics, contesting elections on a Congress Party ticket and becoming a Member of Parliament for New Delhi in the 1990s. His later film roles were largely insignificant, although he shocked fans in 2008 when he did an intimate scene with then-unknown starlet Laila Khan in the film “Wafaa: A Deadly Love Story”. Laila, suspected to have had links with banned terror groups, was killed along with her family members last year. Criticised as too bold for Indian screens, Khanna nevertheless said he was proud of the role. His last frail onscreen appearance was in his first television commercial for electric appliance company Havells. REFERENCE: Rajesh Khanna dies in Mumbai AFP | 18th July, 2012

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What they’re saying on Twitter:

“RIP Rajesh Khanna. The Phenomenon. Thank you for the magic.” – Rahul Bose

“India’s only real Superstar is no more. Rajesh Khanna was and remains ‘The Phenomenon’.” - Shobhaa De

“Rajesh Khanna gave us a crash course in Romance. He introduced us to a special twinkle in the eye that made us feel good about ourselves. RIP” - Anupam Kher

“When we lose a loved one, something within us dies. Our generation loved Rajesh Khanna. Today a bit if us dies with this enigmatic star.” - Mahesh Bhatt

“Just heard the saddest news. The 1st Superstar of India is no more. But the legend that was Rajesh Khanna will live eternally through his films.” - Farah Khan