Updated on: Friday, October 01, 2021, 03:24 PM IST

Gandhi Jayanti 2021: From Naseeruddin Shah to Ben Kingsley, take a look at the actors who brought 'Bappu' to life on the big screen

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi | Pixabay

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi | Pixabay


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, famously referred to as 'Mahatma' (great soul), breathed his last on January 30, 1948. However, his life and teachings are celebrated across the world even today.

As India is all set to celebrate 'Bappu's' 152nd birth anniversary, we take a look at the actors who brought him to life on the big screen.

Ben Kingsley in 'Gandhi' (1982)

Sir Ben Kingsley's portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film Gandhi needs no introduction.

The film, written by John Briley and produced/directed by Richard Attenborough won eight Academy Awards, including that for best picture and Best Actor.

Naseeruddin Shah in 'Hey Ram' (2000)

Naseeruddin Shah played the Mahatma's role in the film Hey Ram released in the year 2000. Interestingly, Shah had auditioned for the role of Gandhi in Attenborough''s film but it eventually went to Kingsley.

Although Naseeruddin's Gandhi in 'Hey Ram' didn't receive the acclaim that Kingsley's effort did, he was praised for his performance and his impeccable Gujrati accent.

JS Kashyap in 'Nine Hours To Rama' (1963)

Kashyap played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1963 film, Nine Hours to Rama. The English language film is about the nine hours of Nathuram Godse's life preceding Gandhi's assassination.

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.

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 for 'Best Actor'.

Mohan Gokhale in 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar' (2000)

Although the film didn't revolve around him he managed to make his presence felt in the movie on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, known for helping the downtrodden and oppressed classes in India.

Darshan Jariwala in 'Gandhi, My Father' (2007)

Jariwala's 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)

Dilip was honoured with a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his act in the blockbuster starring Sanjay Dutt.

The film wasn't centred around the great leader but his teachings were highlighted well in the comedy-drama by filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. the film attested as to why Gandhi continues to be relevant even today

Surendra Rajan in 'The Legend Of Bhagat Singh' (2002); 'Veer Savarkar'(2001); 'Bose: The Forgotten Hero' (2004)

Rajan has essayed Bappu's role on more than one occasion. The Bollywood character actor may not be a known face in Hindi films, but his performance as Gandhi in the three movies has etched his name in cinema history.

(With IANS inputs)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Friday, October 01, 2021, 12:43 PM IST