Great showman of Indian cinema, Raj Kapoor depicted this thing very well through a story in ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’. He made this film when Rajiv Gandhi, then prime miniter, initiated Ganga cleaning project. In ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’, Ganga is a girl which lives in Gangotri. She is very innocent and cute ‘pahadan’ girl. When Naren from West Bengal goes there on picnic, he and Ganga fall in love. They get married. Naren returns from the picnic. But there in Gangotri Ganga becomes pregnant. Now there is no news from Naren who is industrialist and wants that his son be married to daughter of corrupt politician Bhagwat Choudhary.
So Ganga starts her journey from Gangotri. Pure in character Ganga becomes ‘Maili’ when she reaches Kolkata due to bad people.
Before ‘Ram teri ganga maili’ Raj Kapoor made a film ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehti Hai’. Its title song is beautiful –
Hothon pe sachhai rehti hai
jahan dil mein safai rehti hai
hum us des ke basi hai (2)
jis des mein ganga behti hai.
Raj Kapoor wanted to convey message through this song that in Bharat (i.e. India) where sacred river like Ganga flows, every man is true speaking person, he/she has very pure heart.
Second generation showman Subhash Ghai had also his characters name ‘Ram’ and ‘Ganga’ in ‘Khalnayak’. Ram was played by Jackie Shroff whereas Madhuri played character of ‘Ganga’.
Ganga is very significant to Hindus as well as other communities in Bharat. So, take water in palm and take oath keeping Ganga water witness. This is called ‘Ganga Ki Saugand’. Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha acted in this average hit film. In ‘Baiju Bawra’ Bharat Bhushan sings this song :
Tun ganga ki mauj mein Jamna ka dhara
ho rahega milan ye hamara tumhara
It should be noted that this song was sung by Mohammad Rafi who was Muslim, was composed by Naushad who was also Muslim, and was penned by Shakeel Badayuni who was also Muslim.
The hero whose most films had Naushad’s music, Dilip Kumar acted in film called ‘Ganga Jamuna’ but there is no direct connection to Ganga river. Only Dilip Kumar’s name was Gangaram. That’s it.
Similarly there was one film ‘Jis Des Mein Ganga Rehta Hai’. Govinda played lead role of Ganga. Like Ganga river, this young man called ‘Ganga’ is also very innocent and pure by heart. It was comedy film which could not succeed much.
Another film also can be put in this category, where name of river is used in film but there is no connection to Ganga. It is ‘Ganga Jamuna Saraswati’. Amitabh Bachchan played role of Ganga. This was one of the flop films of Amitabh and Manmohan Desai. Amitabh Bachchan and Ganga name has two more connection. He has acted in Bhojpuri hit film ‘Ganga’ and ‘Ganga devi’. And ‘Ganga Devi’ was dubbed in Gujarati as ‘Naam Chhe Marun Ganga’.
If any film maker gets idea to make film on Ganga floods that destroyed Uttarakhand, we will see another film connected to Ganga river.
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