Kishore Kumar is remembered as one of the most legendary musicians of Bollywood who has delivered multiple hits during his time. His original name was Abhas Kumar Ganguly and he was also a lyricist, composer, director, and actor, apart from being one of the most sought-after playback singers of that era. Did you know that he was actually banned from All India Radio and Doordarshan after he refused a political offer?
For the unversed, Kishorji passed away in October 1987 on the day of his brother Ashok Kumar’s birthday after suffering from a heart attack. He was a leading artist between 1946-87 and delivered several hits which are considered classics today. The list includes songs like Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si, Koi Humdum Na Raha, and Phir Suhani Sham Dhali, amongst others. He was also a major topic of discussion amongst the people for his romantic relationship with veteran actor Madhubala.
According to a report by the Times of India, Kishore Kumar was asked to be a part of a political rally in April 1976, right after an Emergency was imposed. The then Information & Broadcast joint Secretary, CB Jain, called Kishorji up, asking him to be a part of the 20-point programme on All India Radio and Doordarshan. According to Shah Commission’s report, Kishorji rejected the offer as he did not want to be a part of any radio or TV programme at that time due to health issues.
The TOI report suggests that SB Jain was offended by the rejection and went on to tell I&B Secretary SMH Burney that Kishore Kumar was ‘curt and blunt’ while rejecting the offer. The Secretary then took approval from then I&B minister VC Shukla and banned Kishore Kumar’s from AIR and Doordarshan. Reports suggest that the sales of his gramophone records were also frozen by the government under emergency, imposed in 1975.
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