Death Anniversary Tribute: Remembering Filmmaker Basu Bhattacharya

On the death anniversary of Basu Bhattacharya ji, the rebel, revolutionary filmmaker, poet, writer, and journalist who gave meaning to Hindi cinema on an intellectual level, a worshipper of human sensibilities,

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Death Anniversary Tribute Remembering Filmmaker Basu Bhattacharya
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On the death anniversary of Basu Bhattacharya ji, the rebel, revolutionary filmmaker, poet, writer, and journalist who gave meaning to Hindi cinema on an intellectual level, a worshipper of human sensibilities, and who weighed the relationship between men and women with new faith and light, we tell you about the sorrowful statements given by his friends, colleagues and close artists, stars, friends on his death. Everyone has tributes for this great personality and there is a memorable experience which I present here.

Basu Chatterjee: He was ill for some time. We all believed that this never-say-die person with a fighting heart and mind would recover soon. But I don't know where Basu failed in this final battle. I went to meet Basu many times during his illness. Every time he said, 'Please pray that I return home soon.' 'I think there are very few brave and self-respecting people like him in the film industry.

Gulzar: It is difficult to express in these few lines of tribute the depth of the thirty-five years-long friendship and the heart-borne relationship between me and Basu da. I am feeling a great emptiness and void in my heart. He always used to tell me the difference between right and wrong like a Guru. Now I am not even able to imagine how this industry would feel to me without Basu da. Where will our meaningful cinema get inspiration from?

Rajesh Khanna: On receiving the news of Basu da's untimely death, my heart was filled with shock, grief, and disbelief. How could Dada, who himself was very strong, determined, and resilient, go so soon? Since I was a very busy star during the film 'Avishkaar' and was not able to accept his film, he suggested a way out and said that I could shoot somewhere else the whole day but work in his film at night. I was stunned by his art and persistence. The shooting of 'Avishkaar' continued at night. My salutations to such a worshipper of art.

Sunil Dutt: It seems that our film industry is getting devoid of thoughtful, meaningful filmmakers. I have a long-standing friendship with Basuda. In the early days of his life, he was also a journalist and I was also a journalist. He wrote a lot in 'Hindustan Times' and 'Indian Express'. Actually, he was a sensitive poet and writer. Whenever we discussed literature, art, and films, he used to say, 'Even though I am a poet and writer at heart, there is no better medium than films to convey my message to every corner of India, every village. Film is a medium that reaches the hearts of people even without being educated. Who will tell such deep things now?

Amol Palekar: A man of many talents, Basuda used to express his thoughts through his films. His films show the way toward new consciousness, feelings, and new directions. Many times his films became a topic of debate and were controversial too, but he never gave up. Full of rebellion, he kept examining society and the relationship between men and women with new meanings and perspectives. Bound by tradition but against wrong traditions, in the midst of all this he kept making films and was also associated with many organizations like IFDA.

Om Puri: I have known Basu da for a long time. Although in the beginning, he did not cast me in his films, this did not reduce our closeness. We used to sit for hours on his green terrace and talk about the world. I used to tell him my problems and he used to tell me. Every meeting with him filled me with intellectual joy. He cast me in 'Aastha'. Whenever someone criticized some controversial scenes of 'Aastha', he used to tell me, 'People today are probably not able to digest the depth of my thoughts, but in the end, people will definitely accept this reality.' When I went to meet him during his illness, he got restless like a small child in the hospital, 'Om, tell the doctor to remove this tube, etc., I want to go home. I am not able to say anything more, my heart is getting filled.

Sharmila Tagore: I never even dreamed that a day would come when I would get such sad news. I used to get creative pleasure while working on his films. Despite his busy schedule, he was actively involved in the Indian Film Directors Association. His contribution to the film society movement cannot be forgotten. He had also started a film school in 'IFDA'. Apart from this, he was also associated with many social organizations like the Indian Cultural Society, these organizations also run many schools and colleges. I have learned something every moment while working with him.

Rekha: I have had many experiences while working with Basuda. Like me, he was also fond of gardening. The various beautiful plants on his balcony reflect the feelings of a poet. He used to fertilize and water these plants with his own hands. The audience will definitely get a special glimpse of his lush green garden in the film 'Aastha'. He was never interested in making ordinary masala films. He chose a different path away from the mainstream films. He was unhappy with those filmmakers who were in a race to earn money by making the wrong films with money earned through the wrong means.

Sanjana Kapoor: I have known him very closely. He always used to tell me about himself, his childhood, and his early career. He was born in Murshidabad in 1934 and studied in Berhampur. He started journalism at the age of 16. Then he developed a liking for films after watching Satyajit Ray's films and became Bimal Roy's assistant. Then in 1966 he made his first independent film 'Teesri Kasam'. Raj Kapoor was the hero of this film. I have heard that he always liked afternoon shooting but Papa ji (Basu Bhattacharya) somehow cajoled him and called Raj ji at 6 in the morning to take a sunrise shot. The story of all the films he made to date was his own, from 'Anubhav' to 'Aastha'. He used to talk to people of all ages and all kinds of things about the world. There is some story behind every object present in his house.

Deepti Naval: Basu da was a very cheerful person. He did not believe in wrong customs but was attached to his traditions. When he was invited to Canada with the unit for honor as the maker of the film 'Panchvati', he himself went there wearing dhoti kurta and asked all the male artists to wear dhoti kurta. He kept making every film with his independent thoughts and independent reasoning. Is it a small thing to win the President's Gold Medal with his first film 'Teesri Kasam'?

Suleena: Basu Chatterjee was Basu Da for the world but I used to address him as Kaku. He always invited me on his set but would get angry at the mention of the interview and say, 'Dhoot, I don't want to waste my words by giving an interview to such a small girl. Our time was different when we used to do serious journalism even at a young age but today's journalists are Hari Bol.

After the film 'Teesri Kasam', he produced and directed 'Avishkar', 'Tiesra Patthar', 'Anubhav', 'Tumhara Kallu', 'Grahpravesh', 'Panchvati', 'Rakh', 'Aastha'. Out of these, 'Tumhara Kallu', 'Tiesra Patthar', 'Anand Mahal', 'Asamapt', 'Kavita', 'Aakhri Daku', 'Madhumalti' could not be released.

Basu Bhattacharya movies


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