23rd March 1931: Shaheed

23rd March 1931: Shaheed is a 2002 Indian Hindi historical biographical film about Bhagat Singh, directed by Guddu Dhanoa which depicts the events leading up to the hanging of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and his companions Rajguru and Sukhdev on 23 March 1931. The film stars Bobby Deol as Bhagat Singh, his elder brother Sunny Deol as Chandrashekhar Azad and Amrita Singh in her comeback role as Bhagat Singh's mother. Aishwarya Rai has a special appearance in a song.

23 March 1931: Shaheed
Directed byGuddu Dhanoa
Produced byDharmendra
Written bySanjay Masoom (dialogues)
Screenplay bySutanu Gupta
StarringBobby Deol
Sunny Deol
Amrita Singh
Rahul Dev
Suresh Oberoi
Shakti Kapoor
Divya Dutta
Aishwarya Rai
Music bySongs:
Anand Raj Anand
Surinder Sodhi
Edited byKeshav Naidu
Release date
  • 7 June 2002 (2002-06-07)
Running time
186 min.

This is the second time real-life brothers Sunny and Bobby Deol appear in a film together after Dillagi (1999). They later appeared together again in several films like Apne (2007), Heroes (2008) and Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011).

The film's release coincided with another film based on Bhagat Singh directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and titled The Legend of Bhagat Singh. Both films bombed at the box office and were both declared disasters.[1] However both were critically appreciated. The film picked up a Zee Cine Technical Award for Best Art Direction by Nitish Roy. Simple Kapadia, the costume designer of the movie also distinguished herself with a perfect replica of the 1930s costumes, making the movie even more realistic. This makes the movie more interesting.


Set in 1931, British India, the film tells the story of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad who have only one motive in mind: Freedom for India. They set about doing this task together with two other men, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Bhagat Singh is enraged when his mentor Lala Lajpatrai is mercilessly beaten to death by the police, and he sets about to avenge his death. He and his colleagues do succeed in killing one of the officials responsible, but they are identified and as a result Bhagat and Rajguru are arrested and held in prison where they are tortured relentlessly.

When produced in court, they dramatically admit to the killing and claim that it was done in the name of Freedom. The judge and the public prosecutor do not see it that their way and they are sentenced to life in prison. Bhagat's mother, Vidya, comes to meet him in prison, and he goes to greet her, shackled in chains from head to toe, and he foretells that India will continue to suffer, even after Independence from the British, and that he will return in another birth to free his motherland. Subsequently, all three are charged with treason and assassination and are sentenced to death.



Critical reception

Even though the movie was not a huge success on box office, on the other received well appreciation for the songs the production released.


1 "Mera Rang De Basanti Chola" Udit Narayan, Bhupinder Singh, Veer Rajinder
2 "Deshnu Challo" Hans Raj Hans
3 "Jogiya Ve" Alka Yagnik
4 "Watanparaston Ki" Hans Raj Hans, Veer Rajinder
5 "Pagadi Sambhaal" Veer Rajinder
6 "Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna" Bhupinder Singh, Mohammad Salamat, Vinod Rathod
7 "Aye Watan" Veer Rajinder
8 "Khush Raho" Veer Rajinder


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