Refugee (2000 film)

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Directed by J. P. Dutta
Produced by J. P. Dutta
Written by J. P. Dutta
Starring Jackie Shroff
Sunil Shetty
Abhishek Bachchan
Kareena Kapoor
Music by Anu Malik
Cinematography Basheer Ali
Edited by Deepak Y. Wirkud
Vilas Ranade
Distributed by HR Enterprises
Release dates
  • 30 June 2000 (2000-06-30)
Running time
207 mins
Country India
Language Hindi

Refugee is a 2000 Indian film written and directed by J. P. Dutta. The film marked the debuts of Abhishek Bachchan, son of popular actor Amitabh Bachchan, and Kareena Kapoor, the younger sister of actress Karisma Kapoor. The film also starred Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty and Anupam Kher. The film performed moderately well at the box office and was the fifth highest grossing film of that year.[1]

The films tells the story of an unnamed Indian Muslim, who helps illegal refugees from both India and Pakistan to cross the border through the Great Rann of Kutch. The film is attributed to have been inspired by the short story "Love Across the Salt Desert" by Keki N. Daruwalla.


Bihar-based Manzur Ahmad and his family was migrated to East Pakistan after the partitioning of India in 1947. However, after the formation of the state of Bangladesh in 1971, he and several other people were forced to re-locate to the western part of Pakistan. To do this by land, they will have to cross India. The route from Dhaka leads to Guwahati in India then to Delhi then to Ajmer then to Bhuj, and then on to Haji Peer in Pakistan.

They get as far as Bhuj, but afterward they are assisted by an agent known only as "Refugee", who helps them trek their way across the Great Rann of Kutch to Pakistan. Refugee considers his clients as mere items of luggage and refuses to be emotionally involved with them and their stories. Then he meets Nazneen Ahmed, the young daughter of Manzur Ahmed, and he forgets this rule and falls in love with her.

Police on both sides of the border are aware of the illegal refugee traffic and the Indian police regularly questions Refugee and his old father Jan Muhammad. One day, Refugee assists four men to enter the Indian side of the border. These men then enlist the help of Mr. Muhammad's other son to get to Delhi. Shortly thereafter, explosions take place in trains, buses, and buildings in the Indian capital.

Refugee crosses the border once again to visit Nazneen where she requests him to take her with him since her father wants to marry her to Mohammad Ashraf, an officer Pakistani border security forces. While crossing the border through Rann they are captured by Pakistanis rangers. Refugee is beaten up and sent to India on a camel. The Indian BSF captures him and treats him in hospital. The Indians informs him that he unknowingly helped terrorists cross into India and caused several deaths. Refugee joins the BSF and fights the terrorists who laid siege to his village.

The film ends with Nazneen giving birth to Refugee's child at the border between the two nations. Indian BSF and Pakistani Rangers personnel discuss the child's nationality in a lighter vein.




The film's music received two National Film Awards: one for Best Music Direction and the other for Best Lyrics (for the song "Panchi Nadiya").

Song Singer(s) Duration Picturised on
"Aisa Lagta Hai" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 7:28 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor
"Jise Tu Na Mila" Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan 10:58
"Mere Humsafar" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 7:50 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor
"Panchi Nadiya Pawan Ke" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor 9:46 Abhishek Bachchan , Kareena Kapoor
"Raat Ki Hatheli Par" Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor 6:58 Abhishek Bachchan , Kareena Kapoor
"Taal Pe Jab" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 7:13 Abhishek Bachchan , Kareena Kapoor

Taran Adarsh gave the album 4.5 out of 5 stars and praised the song by saying "The music touches the heart of every listeners and every moment you feel like a heavenly moment."


National Film Awards[edit]

Filmfare Awards[edit]

The awards it won are highlighted in bold.

Locations filmed[edit]

The Crew having traveled from Mumbai was based at the city of Bhuj and majority of the film shooting took place in various locations around in the Kutch District of the Indian state of Gujarat including the Great Rann of Kutch (also on BSF controlled "snow white" Rann within), Villages and Border Security Force (BSF) Posts in Banni grasslands and the Rann, Tera fort village, Lakhpat fort village, Khera fort village, a village in southern Kutch, some ancient temples of Kutch and with parts and a song filmed on set in Mumbai's Kamalistan Studios.


Bipasha Basu was convinced by another judge, Jaya Bachchan, to play the role of a village belle opposite her son Abhishek Bachchan in J. P. Dutta’s Aakhari Mughal. However the film was cancelled, and Dutta instead changed the script and made Refugee with Kareena Kapoor.[2] Basu was also offered a role in Refugee opposite Sunil Shetty, which she declined.[3]


Refugee is attributed to have been inspired by the story based around the Great Rann of Kutch by Keki N. Daruwalla titled Love across the salt desert.[4] which is also included as one of the short stories in the School Standard 12 11 syllabus English text book of NCERT in India.[5]


  1. ^ "". Refugee does moderately well at the box office. Archived from the original on 18 June 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2006. 
  2. ^ "Bipasha thanks Bobby, Akshay for career". Hindustan Times. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Bipasha Basu's Debut-Go-Round Saga!". 5 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  4. ^ LOVE ACROSS THE SALT DESERT; by Keki N. Daruwalla. Pdf of full story posted at Boston University at [1]. Bollywood connection - J. P. Dutta's "Refugee" is said to be inspired by this story; learnhub, University of Dundee
  5. ^ (iii) Supplementary Reader; Selected Pieces of General English for Class XII; English General - Class XII; Curriculum and Syllabus for Classes XI & XII; NCERT. Also posted at [2] / Archived 2 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, [3]

External links[edit]