Mid-Day February 15

King of villains. He is 80 now, but his demeanor is still as regal as it was in his younger days, when he ruled the screen. The actor whom everyone loves to hate now finds it amusing to see actors themselves playing the villains. " Are there any true villains left in Bollywood?" Pran wonders. "Most have ventured out into comedy or do character roles. The concept of the villain has changed. Gone is the real baddie whose entry would be awaiting to shower all the expletives along with the chappals." But pran isn't the sort who lives in the past." Tastes change every decade. This is what today's audience likes. The music has changed, the dances have changed. Nowadays it is mandatory to have one dancer with 30 more behind in almost every song sequence. So what can I say?"

That's it. I had almost made up mind not to do the film, but when Kumar and Kashyap told me that if I refused the role, the character would be scrapped from the film, I was taken aback.The film was madPran who has given several memorable roles in various films like Majboor, Zanjeer, Upkar, ram Aur Shayam prefers to single out Shaheel as the role he would love to flashback into. " That movies special to me," he says, "though I hardly had six scenes in it."
e by Manoj Kumar to help good friend Kewal Kashyap. Manoj Kumar himself essayed the role of a condemned prisoner Kahar Singh. Initially pran was not too keen to do the role "because I thought they were not playing me the right amount," he admits." They told me that my role had nothing to do with the actual plot of the film. It was just a character that ran parallel to the others. There would be just six scenes.

They felt only I could do justice to that role, but naturally I agreed and I am glad I did," he adds. The film, which was shot on location in Ludhiana jail, had Pran as the most violent prisoner wreathing havoc in jail while awaiting his turn at the gallows.
Kahar Singh has killed, looted, plundered and is waiting to be hanged. But at heart he is innocent. He does not understand the freedom fight… that people can kill each other for their motherland too! What was also unique about Shaheed were the dialogues written by Manoj Kumar. Kehar Singh wonders how there can be the same kind of punishment for him a dacoit and Bharatmata's son Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

AtIn fact when Kehar Singh meets Shaheed Bhagat singh he is taken Back and wants to shake his hand as he has never shaken hands with a good person".
Shaheed was released in 1965 at the same time when the India-Pakistan war was going on.
its Delhi premiere the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was the chief guest. "As war had broken out and patriotic fervor was at its Zenith, it helped the movie, which was about patriotism, became a big hit." Shaheed had Madan Puri play the jailor while Anwar Hussain was a fellow prisoner." As it was shot in the Ludhiana jail, there were several 'real' prisoners too, " says Pran. " In fact it was amusing to read one of the reviewers write that the jail scenes did not look convincing enough as the sets were not right. That's because we had not used a filmi jail as is done in most movies and the critic obviously was unaware what a real jail looked like!" exclaims Pran.