Bollywood stars talk about Republic Day

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January 26th is the observance of Republic Day in India and it is day for patriotism. The national holiday marks the date, January 26, 1950, when India became a republic and adopted its constitution. To honor this day, some of Bollywood’s actors, actresses and directors shared their favorite patriotic songs, films and the national figure they most admire.

Boman Irani: “Without doubt my favorite patriotic song is ‘Ae Mere Pyare Watan’ by Manna Dey. I sing it all the time. It just makes me cry. It’s a song dedicated to the country, to home.”

J.P Dutta: “My favorite patriotic song is ‘Hum Laayen Hain Toofan Se Kashti Nikalke Iss Desh Ko Rakhna Mere Bachcho Sambhal Ke’ from the film Jagriti. My favorite patriotic film will have to be my own Border. And I’d say the true national figure is the The Soldier of the armed forces. He represents the true spirit of India.”

Shabana Azmi: “Favorite song has to be ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’ from Haqeeqat…Jiyo Kaifi Azmi. Jiyo Madan Mohan. Jiyo Mohd Rafi! Favorite national figure? Undoubtedly Mahatma Gandhi, though Nehruji was also a remarkable visionary.”

Hema Malini: “My favorite patriotic songs are the national anthem and Lataji’s ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’. And Bapuji is my favorite national figure.”

Himesh Reshammiya: “Favorite patriotic film Upkar and song ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’. National figure? Gandhiji of course”

Manoj Bajpai: “Song is ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida Jaan-O-Tan Saathiyon’ from Haqeeqat and my favorite patriotic film is my own 1971 directed by Amrit Sagar. National figure? Bhagat Singh!”

Rahul Khanna: “I thought Chak De India was incredibly patriotic. My favorite song is predictably our national anthem. It’s a truly beautiful piece of music and verse. My favorite national figure is the Indian soldier who toils selflessly at the border to protect our country.”

Amrita Arora: “Favorite patriotic film Mother India, favorite patriotic song ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ from Upkar. And favorite national figure? That’s easy. Mahatma Gandhi.”

Bhavna Talwar: My favorite song is ‘Ae Mere Pyare Watan’ from Kabuliwala. Though many great patriotic films have been made, I would choose my own Dharm for its message of national integration at a time when rappers are singing about hatred. My favorite national figure is APJ Abdul Kalam.”

Dino Morea: “Favorite patriotic film and song is Border and A R Rahman’s ‘Ma Tujhe Salaam’. Favorite national figure? Ummmm. Subhas Chandra Bose. Don’t ask me why.”

Malaika Arora: “‘Sare Jahan Se Achcha’….I don’t know what happens to me when I hear that song. It fills with pride for being Indian. My favorite national figure: all the freedom fighters who brought us where we are today. No doubt, they’re the true heroes.”

Suneel Darshan: “I’m a big Manoj Kumar fan and my favorite film is Upkar, favorite song is ‘Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sadaa Main Geet Wahan Ke Gata Hoon’ from Purab Aur Pachchim.”

Mahesh Bhatt: “Favorite patriotic song would have to be ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’ by Kaifi Azmi. And favorite film is Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat. My favorite national figure? Rabindranath Tagore.”

Satish Kaushik: “Manoj Kumar’s Upkar….and favorite patriotic song is ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’. National figure is Shah Rukh Khan in Chak De India.”

Aftab Shivdasani: “My favorite patriotic song is ‘Ae Mere Pyare Watan’. Film is Chak De India. And Shah Rukh Khan is my choice for the national figure.”

Anubhav Sinha: “Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat. And the personality would have to be Mahatma Gandhi.”

Apoorva Lakhia: “Favorite patriotic film is Border and song ‘Mera Rang De Basanti Chola’. My favorite patriotic character is Ben Kingsley as Gandhi fighting against all odds and sacrificing himself for the greater cause that is the country.”

Diya Mirza: “My favorite song is Hemant Kumar’s ‘Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe’ from Ganga Jumna because it addresses itself to children and tells them their responsibility as Indian citizens. I also love Vande mataram. Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi is my favorite patriotic film. I watched it when I was very young. I realized for the first time what love for the country is. The national figure who evokes a deep sense of patriotism in me is Mahatma Gandhi.”

Imtiaz Ali: “Favorite patriotic film Rang De Basanti, favorite song Rahman’s ‘Vande Mataram’. And national figure? Dhoni.”

Divya Dutta: “Favorite song ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’. Favorite film is Haqeeqat. My national hero would be Manoj Kumar for acting in and making films that represent the true spirit of India.”

Priyanka Chopra: “My favorite patriotic song will have to be ‘Mile Sur Tera Hamara’. Every time I would see all the stalwarts of the country from Lataji to Pandit Ravi Shankar to Shabana Azmi come together on television to sing that song, I would get goose bumps. In fact, I get that ‘goosebumpy’ feeling even now I speak to you about that song. My favorite national figure is Rajiv Gandhi. He was a lovely man and a truly remarkable visionary. He dreamt of taking India into the new millennium but couldn’t live to see that dream come true. Believe me; we haven’t even realized ten percent of our full potential as yet.”

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