Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi, breathed his last on January 30, 1948, but he has been brought alive on the big screen several times.
As India is all set to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we take a look at actors who essayed the role of Gandhi with elan.
BEN KINGSLEY in “Gandhi” (1982)
British actor Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Oscar-winning film “Gandhi” is one that is etched on everyone’s minds.
NASEERUDDIN SHAH in “Hey Ram” (2000)
The Kamal Haasan-starrer film revolved around India’s Partition and the assassination of Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. Interestingly, Naseeruddin had auditioned for the role of Gandhi in Attenborough’s film. The role eventually went to Kingsley. Naseeruddin’s Gandhi in “Hey Ram” didn’t received the acclaim that Kingsley’s effort did, but he was praised for nailing the act and getting the Gujarati accent right.
JS CASHYAP in “Nine Hours To Rama” (1963)
Mark Robson’s English language film is about the nine hours of Nathuram Godse’s life before he assassinated Gandhi. Goidse was essaywed by German actor Horst Buchholz.
ANNU KAPOOR in “Sardar” (1993)
The Ketan Mehta film on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had Annu Kapoor stepping into the shoes of Gandhi. Apart from playing the great Indian leader on the big screen, Annu also lent his voice as narrator to “Khaar” — a docudrama on Gandhi’s Dandi March.
“The Dandi March initiated by Gandhiji was an iconic movement against the British and a milestone in India’s movement for freedom,” Annu said last year.
RAJIT KAPUR in “The Making Of The Mahatma” (1996)
Kapur, popular for playing the Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi on television, played Gandhi in Shyam Benegal’s “The Making of The Mahatma”. His role in the film fetched him a National Film Award as Best Actor.
MOHAN GOKHALE in “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” (2000)
The film didn’t centre around him but he managed to make his presence felt in the movie on BR Ambedkar, known mainly for helping the downtrodden and oppressed classes in India.
DARSHAN JARIWALA IN “Gandhi, My Father” (2007)
His performance in the critically-acclaimed film was lauded by many, including the Indian government that honoured him with a National Award for his effort. “‘Gandhi, My Father’ happened in a curious way. Feroz Abbas Khan (director) had approached me for Gandhi’s role in his famous play ‘Mahatma v/s Gandhi’. I was his first choice. Unfortunately, I was preoccupied with other business interests then, and it was my misfortune that I couldn’t do it. So here I am, playing Gandhi in his directorial debut,” Darshan had said in an interview.
DILIP PRABHAWALKAR in “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” (2006)
The Sanjay Dutt-starrer was probably one of the most commercial Bollywood films to feature. The film wasn’t just about the great leader but his teachings were highlighted well in the comedy-drama by filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. It showed why Gandhi continues to be relevant even today. Dilip was also honoured with a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his act in the blockbuster.
SURENDRA RAJAN in “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh” (2002); “Veer Savarkar” (2001); “Bose: The Forgotten Hero” (2004)
Few know, but Rajan is the actor to have essayed the Mahatma the maximum number of times. the Bollywood character actor may not be a known face in Hindi films, but his roles as Gandhi in “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh”, Veer Savarkar”, and “Bose” have become his calling cards.
SRIKANTH in “Mahatma” (2009 Telugu film)
The film was about a hooligan whose life sees the transformation after he gets to know of Gandhism by chance. Actor Srikanth essayed the role of the Mahatma.