Home Anniversary Deepak Asha – Remembering a legendary Film Director

Deepak Asha – Remembering a legendary Film Director

Deepak Asha – Remembering a legendary Film Director

Deepak lives in the hearts of Sindhis for national song “Jiye Muhinji Sindh, Maa Ta Ghoriyan Panhji Jind, Panhje Abane Watan Taan”, he composed, and sung by another legendary singer Bhagwanti Nawani

By Nasir Aijaz   

Deepak Asha, whose original name was Dharam Kumar Tolani, is one of the many legendary Sindhi personalities who earned name and fame in India and beyond after the migration from Sindh due to partition of subcontinent in 1947.

Deepak Asha, born on November 26, 1919 at Tando Adam, a town in Sindh province of Pakistan, was an Indian film director, actor and writer. Deepak was not highly educated, as he studies only up to third standard, but had lot of knowledge due to informal education, experiences and observations of life.

Deepak, who had to migrate to Bombay, India along with family, stayed in refugee camp like other hundreds of thousand Sindhis. He suffered a lot during stay in refugee camp but did not give up and worked even as a laborer for the survival. He often used to visit other Sindhi families living in the refugee camp helped them resolve their problems. Realizing the desperation spreading among the displaced Sindhis, he would console and encourage them. For raising their morale, Deepak formed a group of male and female youngsters to hold musical concerts for the community where they sung revolutionary and national songs.

Poster of Sindhi film Abana

Deepak produced and directed several Sindhi, Hindhi and Punjabi films including first Sindhi film ‘Abana’

Deepak became a popular figure among Sindhis across the India as he used to visit different cities and towns where Sindhis had settled in refugee camps or townships. Deepak also started publishing a magazine titled ‘Sindhi Sansar’, which highlighted the issues faced by scattered Sindhi communities. Later, Deepak turned to producing and directing the movies. Credit goes to him for pioneering Sindhi film industry. He was a well-mannered and polite person, and for that was loved by Sindhi community.

He had directed many notable Sindhi, Hindi and Punjabi films, including Abana, a Sindhi film (1958), Jalte Deep 9Hindi) and Ghamandi (Hindi), Spy in Goa (1966), Road No. 303 (1960), Rustom Kaun (1966), and acted in Sindhi films Jhulelal (1964), Ladili (1966), Shal Dhiyar Na Jaman (1968) and ‘Et Anjan Ma Nandhri Ahyan’ (1970). Renowned Indian film actors including Ameetabh Bachan starred in his films.

Poster of a Hindi film Jalte Deep

He also acted in many plays including, Dhobia Jo Ishq, writen by Kishin Shaidai and Jaikishan written by Ishiwar Muflas.

While he had the honor to produce ‘Abana’, first Sindhi film of India after the partition, “Jiye Muhinji Sindh, Maa Ta Ghoriyan Panhji Jind, Panhje Abane Watan Taan” written by Deepak Asha become a most popular song for Sindhi community settled in India and elsewhere around the world. In fact, it become a national song for the Sindhi community, which is played even today at every cultural event and festivals and enthralls the audience making them to dance to the tunes of the song. This song was sung by another legendary singer Bhagwanti Navani.

Deepak Asha died on 28 July 1993 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. In memory of Deepak Asha, the Bombay Municipal Corporation inaugurated Shri Deepak Asha Chowk on 31st January, 1999 near junction of Guru Gobind Singh and S.B.S Marg, Mulund Colony, Mulund (W). Mumbai – 82.

Deepak Asha left behind for daughters and two sons namely Meera Bhagwandas Merwani, Jyoti Lachhmandas Punjabi, Daya Rawtani, Anu Bachani Punjabi, and sons Jiwan Tolani and Haresh Deepak Asha Tolani.

Here is the list of Sindhi Films directed by Deepak Asha:

Abana (1958), Jhulelal (1964), Shal Dhiyar Na Jaman (1968) and

Raat Hika Toofan Ji (1969).

Directed Hindi Films

Jalte Deep – Director / Screenwriter /Story Writer (1950); Ghamand – Director / Screenwriter (1955); Chali mein Sasural; Sarfaroosh; Mein aur mera bhai; Road no. 303; Ek saal pehile; Rustam kaon; Captain Sheeru; Son of Hakim Tai; Diwali Ki Raat  Director (1956) and many more.

Directed Punjabi Film

Papi tare aneek; Dhaaj; Jindiri Yaar di; Sukhi Parivar; Fauji chacha; Chhala; Vilayati Babu.

Deepak Asha acted in Jhulelal (1964), Ladili (1966), Shal Dhiyar Na Jaman (1968), and Insaaf Kithe Aa (1960)


Source: Sindhi Wiki and IMDB and other websites



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