When asked to express his opinion on the socio-political scene on India’s 65th Republic Day, veteran actor Manoj Kumar claims that he finds the situation similar to what he witnessed during India independence in 1947. “I feel as insecure as I felt in 1947 in Lahore (now in Pakistan). There are communal riots, and there is no unity nor harmony in the country,” he says.
Early in his film career, Kumar played quite a number of patriotic characters in films like Upkar (1967) and Purab Aur Pachhim (1970). The actor, who also played legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Shaheed (1965), still bears strong nationalist sentiment. “We have many leaders but they are the leaders of their own parties.
Unfortunately, after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, we haven’t had a national leader. But I am an optimist,” says the 76-year-old.
When asked about the Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader, Arvind Kejriwal, the actor quips, “Kejriwal is 47 years behind me. I played Kejriwal in Yaadgaar (1970). Now the time has come if you don’t deliver, people will throw you out.”