Manoj Kumar was relieved when Bhagat Singh’s mother approved of him to play the freedom fighter onscreen in the 1965 classic, Shaheed. On Martyrdom Day today, also called the Shaheed Diwas, we revisit an old interview of the iconic actor, where he opened up about meeting Bhagat Singh’s mother Vidyavati when she was hospitalised, and how she probably saw a reflection of her son in the actor.

‘We got to know that Bhagat Singh’s mother is unwell and admitted to a hospital in Chandigarh. I went to meet her with Kewal Kashyap (producer of Shaheed).

Bhagat Singh’s brother Kultar Singh told her that I’m the one who’s playing his bhaiya’s role in the film. His mother looked at me as if scanning every inch to see if I’ll fit into her son’s role. ‘She slowly said, ‘Yes, he does look like him’. I felt a rush of happiness inside me,’ Manoj Kumar said in an interview with Tehelka Haryana.


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