Gadar: Ek Prem Katha

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Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Movie Poster
Directed by Anil Sharma
Produced by Nitin Keni
Written by Shaktiman Talwar
Starring Sunny Deol
Amisha Patel
Amrish Puri
Lilette Dubey
Narrated by Om Puri
Music by Uttam Singh
Cinematography Naj
Edited by A.D. Dhanashekharan
Keshav Naidu
Arun V. Narvekar
Distributed by Zee Telefilms
Release date(s) 15 June 2001
Running time 178 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi/Urdu/Punjabi
Budget INR185 million (US$3.1 million)[1]
Box office INR2.86 billion (US$47 million)
(worldwide gross)[2][3][4]

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (Hindi: ग़दर: एक प्रेम कथा, Urdu: غدر: ایک پریم کتھا‎; Revolt: A Love Story) is a 2001 Bollywood action movie starring Sunny Deol, Amisha Patel, and Amrish Puri set in the time of the Indian partition. Gadar: Ek Prem Katha was a box office phenomenon and sold more tickets at theatres in India than any film in history apart from Sholay (1975). When Gadar was released on 15 June 2001, producer for Zee Telefilms, Nitin Keni, director Anil Sharma, lead star Sunny Deol, assorted trade pundits, and seasoned film critics had no idea that the film, which was set during a turbulent time in modern Indian and istory, would create box-office history. Gadar clashed with Aamir Khan's Lagaan at the box office. Made for INR 185 million (approximately US$3.5 million, adjusted for inflation), Gadar has made more than INR 2.86 billion (US$54 million, adjusted) to date and, after its theatrical run, was commercially the most successful movie in India (without adjusting for inflation) when it was released. It is in list of "Biggest Blockbusters Ever in Hindi Cinema".[5] Gadar is the third highest grossing film in Bollywood history in India & fifth highest worldwide when inflation is taken into account. With this film, Deol was nominated for the Film fare Best Actor Award.[2][3][6]

The story of this film is loosely based on the real life of Boota Singh. The film is known for its anti-Pakistan sentiment and for showing Pakistan in a poor light.[7]


Set in 1947, during the Partition of India, the film tells the story of a truck driver, Tara Singh (Sunny Deol), a Jatt Sikh, who falls in love with a Muslim girl, Sakina (Amisha Patel), belonging to an aristocratic family.

The story begins with Sikhs and Hindus being attacked by Muslims in Pakistan when trying to migrate to India on a train. In response, Sikhs and Hindus react by killing Muslims migrating to Pakistan from India. During the Hindu-Muslim riots that erupted soon after the Partition, Tara saves Sakina from a murderous mob chasing her as she failed to get onto the train after being lost in the crowd. As the mob wants to rape and then murder her, Tara Singh defends Sakina and disguises her as a Sikh to protect her.

While driving back to Tara's house, the story has a major flashback showing the relationship between Tara and Sakina before this incident and hy driver, but his real ambition is to become a singer. Some girls in college who are friends of Sakina, fool Tara into thinking that they have got him a spot on a music show in return for a favor. Tara performs badly in front of the musyed by Sakina (Amisha Patel). His friend then gives him tablets that help him prove his singing skills. Soon after it is shown that Sakina is not the real music teacher, which saddens him. When performing on the music show Sakina announces that she will not do her act, instead giving Tara a chance to sing despite being against the will of the seniors at the college.

Subsequently and back in the present, Sakina starts living in Tara's house and their respect culminates into love. Sakina and Tara Singh get married and become parents of a baby boy. Their life seems like a bed of roses, until Sakina sees an old newspaper that has a photograph of her father, Ashraf Ali (Amrish Puri), whom she believes had been killed during the riots during the Partition.

Her father is now the mayor of Lahore. When Sakina calls him from the Pakistani Embassy in Delhi, he arranges to fly her to Lahore. However, Tara and their son, who are supposed to accompany her to Lahore, are told at the last minute that their visa formalities have not been completed, which compels them to stay in India. This does not stop Tara. He and his son, accompanied by a friend, enter Pakistan illegally at the border. There they find out that Sakina is getting married and reach her before the marriage can start and reunite.

Seeing this, Sakina's husband-to-be attacks Tara but is instead injured by him. A fight is about to break out when the priest stops them, as this can end up harming Sakina's father's career in politics. Ashraf Ali agrees for their marriage under two conditions: They should live in Pakistan and Tara should convert to Islam.

These conditions are accepted by Tara in public the next day which was against Ashraf Ali's plans. He makes Tara insult his country to prove that he is a true Pakistani, which enrages him and this makes him kill the mob that was hired by Ashraf to kill him. Tara, Sakina, their son, and a friend manage to escape.

After a long period of turmoil they catch a cotton mill train which will be their ticket to India. Ashraf Ali finds out, and he takes some men to stop them. In the ensuing fight Sakina gets shot by her own father. In the hospital Sakina has lapsed into a coma whis mistake. Sakina gains consciousness after having a nightmare. The movie ends with Ashraf Ali accepting Tara as his son-in-law and they return to India.


A part of Gadar was shot at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and at other several locations in Shimla. A part of it was also shot in Sacred Heart School, Dalhousie. Although the film is set in 1947, it features the music of "Que sera sera" which was first published in 1956.

The movie was also shot in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh where the city was depicted as Lahore, Pakistan and parts were shot at La Martiniere Boy's School, Lucknow a UNESCO Heritage site. A significant part was shot in Pathankot, Sarna and Amritsar to depict the division torn country.[8]



Box office[edit]

Gadar was nominated for several awards. It grossed an estimated INR 755 million and is currently the seventeenth highest grossing Bollywood film.[4] According to Box Office India, around 40 million tickets of Gadar were sold during its theatrical run while other high grossing films like 3 Idiots and Dabangg sold around 25 million tickets each.[9] The film had grossed Rs. 7.5 million nett in Delhi/UP in its 10th week, which was higher than any second week nett gross at that time.[9] The adjusted gross of the movie is Rs 2,865,500,000. It was the highest grossing movie of the year as well as decade. This was mainly due to the unparalleled business it gathered from B and C centres across India.

The turnout by the public at the theaters where the film was playing had not been seen before and also has not been seen since. Gadar: Ek Prem Katha left the trade stunned. There had been mega blockbusters just a few years back like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, but these were small releases and prints increased gradually. With Gadar it was a full-blown release of 350 prints and no one had seen collections remain this high for such a big release. The first week opened to Rs 72,500,000 nett in collections around all of India with the exception of West Bengal where the film was not released at that time. While the film already had a massive release, prints had to be added in week two due to demand and with West Bengal seeing a release the collections went up to Rs 82,500,000 nett. The third week was Rs 75,000,000 nett. In its tenth week it was still bringing in around Rs 25,000,000 nett with mostf name="Gadar"/>

In its 1st week it had a billing of Rs. 7,500,000 nett in Delhi/Uttar Pradesh and this was higher than what most films did in their second week at that time. For example, a hit film which was released alongside, Lagaan, had Rs 7,500,000 nett billing in the third week of its run. At many centres, it still holds lifetime theater records ten years after release.[9]


Fleeing a Sikh lynch mob, a battered Sakina (Amisha Patel) runs into the arms of a burly lantern-wielding Sikh truck driver, Tara Singh (Sunny Deol). "Hand her over, she's a Muslim," the mob choruses. "Lo, ab ho gayi Sikhni (she's a Sikh now)," growls Singh who dramatically smears Sakina's hair parting with his ; blood as sindoor.

This pivotal scene in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, typical of Deol's son-of-the-soil histrionics, has audiences before some 400 screens across the country on their feet. It has also made the film, which grossed over Rs. 500 million in its second week, potentially one of India's most successful ever.

But Gadar, which means upsurge or rebellion, has also attracted protest from Muslim groups across the country, particularly in cities with a recent history of religious strife; cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bhopal. Loosely based on the Partition-era love tragedy of a Sikh called Buta Singh, Gadar tells the story of a poor truck driver marrying an aristocratic Muslim girl in the backdrop of August 1947. Post-interval, Deol enters Pakistan to rescue the girl from the clutches of her evil politician father Ashraf Ali (Amrish Puri). How can they show a Sikh applying sindoor on the forehead of a Muslim girl? This and many other scenes in the film are calculated to provoke Muslims, argues street vendor Abdul Sattar in Ahmedabad. Sections of the community seem to have held fast to Sattar's belief right from the film's 15 June release. Sporadic incidents of violence and arson marred the first week's shows in half a dozen theaters in the twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhi-nagar. Muslims and Hindus came to blows before the police dispersed the mobs.

At Sangam theaters in Amritsar, groups of Muslims hurled petrol pouches on the screen before setting it ablaze. Stopping the show, the arsonists trooped out and set two scooters on fire. The owner of the theaters stopped the screening for two days before the state Government assured him police protection.

On Monday, 25 June, Bhopal teetered on the brink of a repeat of the post-Babri Masjid riots of 1992. A mob of 400 persons led by the president of the district Youth Congress, Arif Masood, used petrol bombs, swords, rods and stones to attack a cinema hall screening Gadar. A police constable was grievously injured and dozens received minor wounds.

Deol reacted to news of the violence with anguish: "What is sad about the protests is that they were started by cowards, but it is innocent people who are being hurt." Not every reaction was as stupefied. Gadar became the newest political hot potato.

It's a familiar script and a worn-out template. The cast of characters for and against Gadar have periodically locked horns in films like Bombay, Fire and Water in the past few years.

Writing in his party mouthpiece Saamna, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said there was nothing objectionable in the film.

Hindu organizations see a conspiracy behind the protests. Said Sanjay Nirupam, Shiv Sena MP in Mumbai: "The film shows Indians as tolerant and Pakistanis as communal and conservative. If Indian Muslims oppose the film, it only means their heart is closer to Pakistan."

The Shiv Sena was suitably provoked when the little-known Mumbai Regional Muslim League shot off a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh asking for a ban on the film or the deletion of its objectionable scenes.

"The film is biased towards Hindus," charged League President Mohammed Faruque Azam.

"It shows the suffering of Hindus but not that of the Muslims who are depicted as rapists and murderers." Azam was the first to raise the point about Patel's screen name, Sakina, being defamatory to Islam since it was the name of Prophet Mohammed's daughter.

As Zee TV - its sister company Zee Telefilms has produced Gadar - was quick to point out, the Prophet's daughter was called Fatima. Sakina, scholars say, was the Prophet's great granddaughter.

While the Congress-NCP Government in Maharashtra refused to ban Gadar, its BJP counterpart in Gujarat endorsed the film's "patriotic credentials". "There is nothing in it which would hurt an Indian Muslim. If there's anything it's against Pakistan," says Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya.

But what doesn't augur well for peace in Ahmedabad is the Bajrang Dal forming groups of youth ready to rush to any theatre where Muslims are creating trouble. The controversy is also being fanned by some Urdu newspapers in Mumbai and Bhopal. If the RSS paper Panchajanya once carried an article calling Hrithik Roshan the Hindu answer to the Khan trio of Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh, these papers are miffed with recent films like Fiza and Zubeidaa that show Muslim girls falling in love with Hindu men.

In Lucknow, Gadar seemed to be in for a rerun of last year's controversy where hostile crowds gathered during its filming in the old city. Shia Muslims protested against the shoot inside the historic Bara Imambara, the tomb of Nawab Asifuddaula. The Gadar crew then shifted to Roomi Gate, another historical site. One of the film's key sequences was filmed here. Tara Singh agrees to convert to Islam for the safety of his wife and child. He is brought before a mosque and hundreds of Pakistanis and is egged on by Ashraf Ali to say "Pakistan zindabad (long live)" and "Hindustan murdabad (death to)".

"Islam does not allow murdabad of anyone," insists Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, Lucknow-based vice-president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). He also expressed anger at his name featuring in the film's credits with BJP MPs like Vinod Khanna and Kalraj Mishra. Sadiq denies assisting Gadar's makers in any way.

The Maulana, who has a strong following among the Shias of the city, has not seen the film and has been only told of it by his supporters. "None of the protesters has seen the film, says producer Nitin Keni who calls the protests sporadic and insists they aren't backed by popular sentiment. Popular sentiment is what seems to have made the film a big hit. In theatres across Mumbai, scenes of Deol single-handedly vanquishing rioters and Pakistani policemen elicit frenzied applause. In north India and especially in Punjab, the film has broken box-office records. Set in the kitschy, patriotic mould of Anil Sharma's earlier films like Hukumat, Gadar is unabashedly jingoistic.

Rajya Sabha member Shabana Azmi says the film is provocative, but that she will defend its right to be screened. "The movie reinforces the canard that every Muslim is a Pakistani. It mixes issues of identity and nationalism, which should be handled sensitively. But it has been cleared by the Censor Board and has every right to be screened."

While Azmi holds out M.S. Sathyu's Garam Hawa as a shining example of sensitively handling the issue of Partition, Gadar's director Anil Sharma says his film has done the same in a limited way, "I'm not a documentary filmmaker. I make mainstream cinema, but Gadar is about love transcending religion and borders."

Police contingents now guard theatres screening Gadar in Mumbai, Bhopal and Lucknow. If it wasn't for the huge cinema posters outside Bhiwandi's Ratan theatre, you would think the snaking queues outside it were those of Mumbaikars boarding an aircraft.

Theatre goers not only pass through two metal detectors but are even frisked by policemen before being allowed in. On the evening of Tuesday, 26 June, a firecracker inside the hall trigger panic. The gadar over Gadar is not quite the entertainment movie buffs had bargained for.


Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Studio album by Uttam Singh
Released 2001 (India)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Producer Uttam Singh
Uttam Singh chronology
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai

The music i. The song listing is as follows:

Song Singer(s)
"Udja Kale Kawan - Folk" Udit Narayan
"Musafir Jaane Wale" Udit Narayan, Preeti Uttam
"Main Nikla Gaddi Leke" Udit Narayan
"Udja Kale Kawan - Marriage" Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik
"Hum Juda Ho Gaye" Udit Narayan, Preeti Uttam
"Udja Kale Kawan - Search" Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik
"Aan Milo Sajna" Ajay Chakraborty, Parveen Sultana
"Traditional Shaadi Geet " Preeti Uttam
"Udja Kale Kawan - Victory" Instrumental




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shubhra Gupta. "Blockbuster bucks trend". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 20 August 2001. 
  2. ^ a b "Top Worldwide Grossers ALL TIME: 37 Films Hit 100 Crore". Box Office India. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Top Lifetime Grosser". 
  4. ^ a b "Top Lifetime Grossers". Box Office India. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Biggest Blockbusters Ever In Hindi Cinema". Box Office India. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "The 100 Crore Worldwide Grosser: 34 Films Since 1994". Box Office India. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Upasana Bhat. India and Pakistan in box office battle BBC World News. 22 October 2013 [1]
  8. ^ Government of India: Lucknow
  9. ^ a b c "Gadar Ek Prem Katha: 10 Years On". Boxofficeindia.Com. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 

External links[edit]