True Story Of An Entertainer
True Story Of An Entertainer3 mins 99 3 mins 99
One man, one actor and one movie that made a huge diplomatic difference and brought an improvement to Indo-Russia ties or Indo-USSR relations in the late 1950s to early 1960s was none other than Raj Kapoor and Awaara. This Bollywood movie, namely Awara, became very popular in Russia after which Russians started liking Indians in general and Raj Kapoor in particular, who was subsequently bestowed upon with Russia's highest civilian award following the release and screening of his later movies such as Anadi and Mera Naam Joker in USSR which was hugely received and appreciated by Russian audiences because of socio-relevant messages in these films.
Even Comrade Stalin was visibly impressed with Raj Kapoor and his movie Awaara so much so that he conveyed his feelings personally to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when the latter visited Soviet Union/Russia. It is believed that during the diplomatic meeting between the two leaders, Mr Stalin spent 10 informal minutes discussing about Hindi movie Awara and its impact on Russians. Pandit Nehru was literally taken aback and also little embarrassed as he had not heard about the said movie (he was not a keen follower of hindi or Bollywood movies), but he knew Raj Kapoor well because of his close proximity with Raj Kapoor's father namely Prithviraj Kapoor. It was no secret that Pandit Nehru and Prithviraj Kapoor were good friends and used to meet quite often during social gatherings.
Following his return to India from USSR tour which was a diplomatic success/victory, Pandit Nehru immediately paid a courtesy visit to Prithviraj Kapoor at his residence and the first question that he posed to the latter was whether his son was acting in Hindi movies to which Prithviraj Kapoor replied in the affirmative with a curious look. Pandit Nehru then narrated to him about the immense popularity enjoyed by his son Raj Kapoor in Soviet Union and the impact of all his films especially Awara on Russians. Prithviraj Kapoor just smiled and modestly replied that he had underestimated his son Raj Kapoor when he took to acting in Hindi movies because of his child-like innocence. But then the fact remains that his exhibition of natural innocence in films created untold magic on audiences !
One cannot hide or run away from the fact that Raj Kapoor and his socio-relevant movies were responsible for blossoming of relations between India and Soviet Union !
Entertainment and culture are definitely mightier and effective than diplomatic calls, diplomatic exercises and diplomatic exchanges. History has shown that sports, culture and entertainment play an important and crucial role in strengthening bilateral relations between two countries and nations.
In short, cultural exchange is certainly more effective and far-reaching than sheer diplomacy!