B’Day Jukebox: Melodies of the Original Desh Bhakt, Manoj Kumar
Celebrating Manoj ‘Bharat’ Kumar’s birthday with a jukebox of his best film songs. 
Celebrating Manoj ‘Bharat’ Kumar’s birthday with a jukebox of his best film songs. 

B’Day Jukebox: Melodies of the Original Desh Bhakt, Manoj Kumar

In the current era of WhatsApp desh bhakti and faux patriotism, it’s time to rewind to Bollywood’s original “nationalist” - Manoj Kumar, also nicknamed as ‘Bharat Kumar’ for his choice of doing cinema based on patriotic themes.

Born on 24 July, Kumar a Padma Shri awardee is best known for his performances in Hariyali Aur Raasta, Woh Kaun Thi?, Himalaya Ki God Mein, Do Badan, Upkar, Patthar Ke Sanam, Neel Kamal, Purab Aur Paschim, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, and Kranti.

So, here’s how Manoj Kumar got known as Bharat Kumar: After playing Bhagat Singh in Shaheed, Kumar took up then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri’s request to make a film celebrating the Indian farmer and army jawan post the Indo-Pak war of 1965. Kumar came up with the blockbuster Upkar, which featured the evergreen Mahendra Kumar song, Mere Desh Ki Dharti....

Later films like Purab Aur Paschim and Kranti only went on to cement his image as the Bollywood’s original desh bhakt.

His notable performances throughout a career spanning 58 years also won him the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 2016.

Here’s a jukebox of Manoj Kumar’s most popular filmi tracks that’ll get you humming along in celebration:

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Koi Jab Tumhara...

Mere Desh Ki Dharti...

Main Na Bhoolunga...

Mehboob Mere...

Tauba Yeh Matwali Chaal...

Ek Pyaar Ka Nagma Hai...

Patthar Ke Sanam...

Bharat Ka Rehne Wala Hoon...

(This piece is from The Quint’s archives. It is being republished to mark Manoj Kumar’s birthday. )

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