Remembering Raj Kapoor, ‘the Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema’, on his 31st death anniversary today.

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Remembering Raj Kapoor, ‘the Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema’, on his 31st death anniversary today.

Even 31 years after his death in 1988, the ‘greatest showman of Indian cinema’, Raj Kapoor, still continues to be an icon worldwide.

For Raj Kapoor, films were not only a business or means of entertainment. Rather, he viewed them as a medium through which he had a social commitment to fulfill. Most of his films invariably conveyed a message about values and human relationships. Raj Kapoor brought burning social issues into focus through his films.

Raj Kapoor entered the film industry when Indian cinema was still in its formative years. He was the winner of several accolades including 3 national film awards and 11 Filmfare Awards in India. The Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award is named after him. Though the films he produced were commercial in nature they always had a strong message for the audience. It is said that it took him six years to complete the film ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970) which he produced, directed and starred. For the film, he mortgaged everything he had, he spent millions but unfortunately when it came out in 1972 it was a catastrophic flop. Even though he lost everything he earned it back with his subsequent films. His films will always be treasured by the lovers of Hindi cinema and the title ‘The Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema’ is and will always be associated with Raj Kapoor.

To this day, Raj Kapoor, the actor, is remembered for his familiar pleading voice, a half-smile and a hand raised in half-salute, walking with Japanese shoes, wearing frayed English patloons, and his made-in-India heart filled with love and unbridled optimism.

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