researcher and social scientist, have published widely in different national and international journals
The Legacy of Dev Anand
Who does not know him? Dev Anand, born as Dharamdev Anand on 26th May, 1923 in Punjab's Gurdaspur district, was a sensation of Hindi film industry. Veteran film actor, Ashok Kumar, who gave him his first break in film as hero in film Ziddi (1948), after his first appearance in Hum Ek Hain (1945), at once recognized the potential star hidden in him. A born hero, he was little different from the two other great heroes of his time, namely Raj Kapur and Dilip Kumar. While they were close friends, we see a big difference between them on screen. While Raj Kapur and Dilip Kumar were very versatile actors and had played very different roles, from snobbish aristocrats to simple, down to earth villager, Dev remains different and defiant. Perhaps he is the sole hero who never wore a dhoti or played the life of common villager on screen.
He also never ceased to adopt bold themes. Many of his films were plotted against the backdrop of crime and the worlds of black activities. Thieves, police and mafias are abundant in his films. The world and culture of hippies were shown in the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) in the background of Nepal and in addition, a incident of theft had been added to it. It became one of the smashing hits of Hindi film industry. In the films like Kalabazar, Kalapani and Jewel Thief, the world of crime is the dominant theme.
Many perhaps do not know that he had a thorough good schooling in Dalhousie of present Himachal Pradesh, and even earned a graduate degree in English literature from Lahore Govt. College. Perhaps this, the British kind of schooling never allowed him to play the role of simple, ignorant common man. Dilip Kumar mainly plays the role of down to earth village person who could not find a way out of the extravagances of city life in many of his films. He seems to be awkward as a clandestine city person. Raj Kapur played different roles. In the film, Sangam, he played the role of a city man but in Tisri Kasam or The Three Vows, he played the role of a bullock cart driver very elegantly. Dilip Kumar also could have played this role very well. On the other hand, Dev knew his forte, his genre and his capacity and therefore he stuck to his own niche. The roles, he played were of persons who wore trousers and shirts and suits and in manner and style are often very English styled. They were speaking English as the Britishers and behaved more reasonably than his fellow countrymen of the time.
While acting with Suraiya, he madly fall in love with her but their union was not destined and shortly afterwards, he wed Kalpana Kartick. Dev had brought many stars for the first time on screen including Tina Munim and Zeenat Aman. But what is the most significant contribution of him in Indian Cinema? Why he will be remembered in coming ages? It was his persistent nature, his undaunted energy and his undying love for the screen that kept him going. It is like the saying of Srimadbhagvadgita, as uttered by Srikrishna to Arjuna, "Just do your work, and don't think for the result". Every human being is to complete his or her tasks in this life, he can not escape from it before fulfilling his predestined duties.
After Heera Panna (1973), most of his film failed miserably in the box office. But he never ceased to think of the new project. Once a film has been completed and the movie is released, he starts for the new film, that is to be made and released and every film saw the same passion and same unending zeal like its predecessors. There is no dearth of feeling on his part.
That was Dev Anand and very rightly, Govt. of India had conferred on him DadaSaheb Phalke Award (2002) to recognize his zeal and expertise in the Indian film industry. He will be remembered in Indian film industry as one who carried the flame for film making until his last breath.
© 2021 Ilina Jones