Bhagat Singh death anniversary: 7 movies based on the life of Bhagat Singh

Sonali Pimputkar

India’s famous freedom fighter Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for the freedom of our country. He was just 23 years old when he along with Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru sacrificed their lives for India’s independence from the British rule on March 23, 1931. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru are considered one of the most influential revolutionaries. Even 87 years after their execution, their lives remain a great source of inspiration. The lives of these freedom fighters have not only inspired India’s independence movement but also Bollywood. Over the years, their lives have been an inspiration for several Bollywood movies. Martyrs’ Day, also known as Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day, is observed on March 23. On the occasion of 88th Shaheed Diwas, we have compiled a list of 7 Bollywood movies based on the lives of Bhagat Singh.

Rang De Basanti (2006)
Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the literal meaning of the title ‘Rang De Basanti’ is ‘Paint me with the colours of spring’. The film features an ensemble cast comprising Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Siddharth Narayan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and British actress Alice Patten. The movie revolves around the life of a group of friends who work together on a documentary film on the revolutionaries.

aamir khan_rang de basanti

23rd March 1931: Shaheed (2002)
The film ‘23rd March 1931: Shaheed’ features Bobby Deol as Bhagat Singh, Sunny Deol as Chandrashekhar Azad and Amrita Singh as Bhagat Singh’s mother. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has a special appearance in a song. The film depicts the events leading up to the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev. The film coincided with the release of another film based on the life of Bhagat Singh titled ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’. Both the films didn’t work at the box office but were critically appreciated. Three movies based on the life of Bhagat Singh were released in the year 2002.

23rd march 1931 shaheed

The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, the film features Ajay Devgn in lead role. ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ beautifully portrays Bhagat Singh’s struggle for India’s independence and his views on the British Raj. The film begins with the scene where British attempts to dispose of Singh’s body and the film progresses with the flashback to the past to tell his story. The film has won two National Film Awards for Best Feature Film and three Filmfare awards.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh

Shaheed-E-Azam (2002)
The film ‘Shaheed-E-Azam’ features Sonu Sood essaying the role of Bhagat Singh. The film shows how Bhagat Singh decides to eliminate British Raj from India, how he plots several attacks on the colonial rulers and how the government sentences him to death for killing a British officer.


Shaheed (1965)
Directed by S Ram Sharma, ‘Shaheed’ features Manoj Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Pran, Iftekhar, Nirupa Roy, Prem Chopra, Madan Puri and Anwar Hussain in lead roles. It was Manoj Kumar’s first patriotic film, followed by Upkar, Purab Aur Paschim, and Kranti. The film portrays the life of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev and how they went to the gallows at a young age. The sacrifices made by these revolutionaries eventually lead to India’s freedom from the colonial rule.

manoj kumar bhagat singh

Shaheed Bhagat Singh (1963)
Directed by KN Bansal, the film features Shammi Kapoor essaying the role of Bhagat Singh. Besides Shammi Kapoor, the film stars Shakeela, Premnath, Ulhas and Achla Sachdev. 

shammi kapoor_Shaheed Bhagat Singh (1963)

Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh (1954)
‘Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh is the first film based on the life of Bhagat Singh. Directed by Jagdish Gautam, the film features Prem Abeed, Jairaj, Smriti Biswas and Ashita Mazumdar in lead roles. The film also has the classic patriotic song ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab humare dil main hain..’ in Mohammed Rafi’s melodious voice.

Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh