Gandhi rules popular culture

Gandhi rules popular culture

A scene from 'The Making of Mahatma'.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi’s life has inspired many across the globe including Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela.

His teachings and ideologies still hold powerful meaning for the young generation.

So much so that his extraordinary life is taken as an inspiration in the popular culture especially in films, books and music. Not to forget, Gandhiji’s portrait has been the centrepiece of Indian currency notes since the year 1996.

On the 150 years of Gandhi Jayanti celebration, Metrolife brings to you a few films and songs where Gandhi gets a mention in the pop culture.


Life of Gandhi on stage

Gandhi - The Musical

Mahatma Gandhi has been a favourite character for kids to dress up like, and even a favourite topic for plays and theatres.

Inspired by his works and ideologies, a dance drama named ‘Gandhi – The Musical’ was written and directed by Danesh Khambata. This musical talks about Gandhiji’s journey and his experiments with truth. It had 18 original songs along with a set that defined the bygone era.

‘Yugpurush - Mahatma ka Mahatma’

Written by Uttam Gada and directed by Rajesh Joshi, ‘Yugpurush…’ is a play that depicts the relationship between Gandhiji and his spiritual mentor Shrimad Rajchandraji. The 2016 Gujarati play has now been adapted into seven different languages including English, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi and Tamil. The play, since it’s inception, has been a huge success and this can be seen by the many awards it has received through the years like ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2017’ for best play.

Songs which paid homage to the father of the nation

There are many songs written as tributes to the ‘Father of the Nation’. It depicts the kind of influence he had on many of these musicians. From John Lennon’s reference of Gandhi, while discussing his views on non-violence to American rapper Eminem referring to Gandhi in the title track of the upcoming Hollywood film ‘Venom’, Mahatma’s idea of non-violence has surely been of great impact on people of every generation.

Sabarmati Ke Sant Tune Kare Diya Kamal

This is one of the most popular songs on Gandhiji. Written by Kavi Pradeep and sung by Asha Bhosle, this song is from the film ‘Jagriti’. The bhajan-like tune of the song became a huge hit.


Movies on him

Mahatma: Life of Gandhi 1869-1948 (1968)

Directed by Vithalbhai Jhaveri, this documentary gave a detailed biography of the Mahatma’s life. The 5-hour documentary included old stills and photographs, which gave a sneak peek into Gandhiji’s life and teachings.

Gandhi (1982)

The next big hit was this English filmmaker Richard Attenborough epic ‘Gandhi’. The movie captured the different aspects of Gandhiji’s life like his struggle in South Africa where he faced racial discrimination, his fight for India’s independence through movements like ‘Quit India’ and his final days until he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. It truly defined the man of nonviolence.

The Making of the Mahatma (1996)

‘The Making of the Mahatma’ was a well-received movie directed by Shyam Benegal.

This was a collaboration between India and South Africa and is an adaptation of Fatima Meer’s book, ‘The Apprenticeship of a Mahatma’. The movie has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English in the year 1996.

Hey Ram (2000)

With the partition of Bengal as the background, ‘Hey Ram’ was directed by Kamal Hassan who also played the protagonist, Saket Ram. The movie did fairly well in the box-office with a total of Rs 8 crore earnings.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

One of the most talked-about movies based on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi is the 2006 superhit film ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’.

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, the movie catches momentum after the lead character, Sanjay Dutt, who plays the role of an underworld don, starts to see the spirit of Gandhi and eventually begins to practice ‘Gandhigiri’ instead of ‘bhaigiri’ to help people solve their problems.

This film is also considered one of the best films in Sanjay Dutt’s acting career.

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