A rare photograph of Balraj Sahni at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in 1972.

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Apart from being a great actor, Balraj Sahni was an eloquent speaker, who in his convocation address at JNU in 1972, emphasized the oneness of Hindi and Urdu.

Sahni had worked with the BBC as its Hindi announcer. A life-long communist and a dedicated activist of IPTA, he remained committed to the common man and the need to establish communication with him. A radio announcer has to be very sensitive towards language as he should be able to reach even the illiterate listener. Sahni never lost this sensitivity for spoken word. His convocation address at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 1972 bears testimony to his deeply felt concern for the two major languages of the North — Hindi and Urdu.

Balraj Sahni passed away the following year.

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