On legendary filmmaker V Shantaram’s 116th birth anniversary, Google has decided to honour the legend by dedicating a doodle to him. Shantaram was no ordinary person since he is majorly responsible for changing the face of Indian cinema with his directorial ventures. The doodle celebrates the filmmaker’s lasting impact on the Indian cinema. Shantharam was born as Rajaram Vankurde Shantaram on 18 November in 1901 and started off with doing odd jobs at the in Maharashtra Film Co. which was then owned by Baburao Painter at Kolhapur. V. Shantaram took up a job at a local tin-shed cinema for a sum of 5 rupees per month. Just four years later, he found himself debuting on the same silver screen as an actor in the silent film, Surekha Haran. Fondly known as Annasaheb, he is associated with popular films like Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957), Navrang (1959), Duniya Na Mane (1937) and Pinjra (1972).
The doodle which Google dedicated to the legendary soul of Shantharam depicts three film produced and directed by him in the 1950s that had won him numerous national and international laurels. Amar Bhoopali (1951) tells the true story of an ordinary cow herder with a natural gift for poetry, set in the days of the Maratha Confederacy. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), on the other hand, is a love story set against the background of classical Indian dance, was among the first films in India to use Technicolor. Do Aankhen Baara Haath (1957) portrayed the tale of a young jail warden who would reform dangerous prisoners into persons of virtue through hard work. Shantharam’s powerful approach to advocating humanism while still exposing the injustice became the high point of the film.
Google is celebrating his anniversary for his immense contribution to the filed. A consummate actor, an innovative editor, an insightful director and a producer that Shantharam was, he evolved a new style of filmmaking and grammar. As an actor he played the lead in at least of two of India’s landmark films, which he also directed. As a producer his films dealt with the social, economic and political problems of a society struggling under colonial rule and then as a country trying to establish its place as a nation. He had an illustrious career as a filmmaker for almost six decades. He was one of the early filmmakers to realize the efficacy of the film medium as an instrument of social change and used it successfully to advocate humanism on one hand and expose bigotry and injustice on the other. Shantaram was conferred with two prestigeous awards, Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and Padma Vibhushan in 1992. He died on 30 October 1990 in Mumbai. The V. Shantaram Award was constituted by Central Government and Maharashtra State Government in his honour.