Raja Thakur

Raja Thakur (1923–1975) was an Indian film director predominantly working in the Marathi film industry. He is best known for his films Me Tulas Tujhya Angani (1960), Rangalya Ratree Ashya (1962), Ektee (1968), Mumbaicha Jawai (1970), Gharkul (1971) and Jawai Vikat Ghene Aahe (1972); for which he won National and State-level awards.

Raja Thakur
Rajaram Dattatraya Thakur

(1923-11-26)November 26, 1923
Phonda, Maharashtra, British India
DiedJuly 28, 1975(1975-07-28) (aged 51)
Pune, Maharashtra.[1]
OccupationFilm director


Thakur was born in 1923 in Phonda near Kolhapur, Maharashtra. He started his film career as assistant to Master Vinayak and Raja Paranjape[2] and directed various films in the 1960s based on storylines of middle-class Maharashtrian people. This genre was a repeated feature in directorial works of Thakur and Rajdutt, who dominated the industry then before the comedies of Dada Kondke became popular in the 1970s. He also produced films under his banner "Nav Chitra".[3]

The 1955 released social film Me Tulas Tujhya Angani was produced under his banner Nav Chitra and had Hindustani classical music-based songs sung by Bhimsen Joshi.[4] The film won the President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film at the 3rd National Film Awards.[5] In continuation to the film adaptations of works written by Damuanna Malvankar and V. S. Jog which Master Vinayak made, Thakur directed the 1957 comedy Gharcha Jhala Thoda.[3]

The 1962 Rangalya Ratree Ashya was a musical film based on the story written by author Ranjit Desai and starring Arun Sarnaik as a talented drummer who falls in love with a courtesan.[6][7][8] The film won Thakur another President's Silver Medal at the 10th National Film Awards.[9] Starring Kashinath Ghanekar,[10] Thakur achieved his third National Film Award for Ektee (1968) at the 16th National Film Awards.[11]

The 1970s directorial venture Mumbaicha Jawai was a depiction of cosmopolitan Mumbai and how a newly married couple embrace the social values while living in the crowded chawl.[12] The film was also released in the Soviet Union and was later adapted into a Hindi film by Basu Chatterjee as Piya Ka Ghar.[13][3] The film won the fourth National Film Award presented at the 18th National Film Awards and also the "Best Film" award at the Maharashtra State Film Awards.[14] He went on to bag the Maharashtra State Film Award, presented by the State Government of Maharashtra, consecutively for the next two years for Gharkul (1971) and Jawai Vikat Ghene Aahe (1972).[6]

In 1975 Thakur directed his first Hindi film Zakhmee. Produced by Tahir Hussain, the film had a star cast of Sunil Dutt, Rakesh Roshan and Asha Parekh.[15] In 1976 his Hindi film Raeeszada was released. Produced by V. L. Khare, the film starred Vikram, Zarina Wahab, Rakesh Roshan, Shriram Lagoo and Helen.[16] In 1972 he had also directed an English film Birbal My Brother.[3]


Thakur directed the following films:[3]

  • 1953 – Bolavita Dhani
  • 1954 – Reshamchya Gaathi
  • 1955 – Me Tulas Tujhya Angani
  • 1956 – Mazhe Ghar Majhi Manse
  • 1957 – Gharcha Jhala Thoda
  • 1957 – Uthavla Narad
  • 1958 – Gaja Gauri
  • 1959 – Rajmanya Rajashri
  • 1961 – Putra Vhava Aisa
  • 1962 – Rangalya Ratree Ashya[17]
  • 1963 – Pahure Kiti Vaat![18]
  • 1965 – Raigadacha Rajbandi
  • 1966 – Dhananjay[19]
  • 1967 – Sant Gora Kumbhar
  • 1968 – Ekati[20]
  • 1970 – Mumbaicha Jawai[21]
  • 1970 – Gharkul
  • 1971 – Bajiravacha Beta[22]
  • 1971 – Ajab Tuzhe Sarkar[23]
  • 1972 – Birbal My Brother (English)
  • 1973 – Jawai Vikat Ghene Aahe
  • 1975 – Zakhmee (Hindi)
  • 1976 – Raeeszada (Hindi)

Awards and recognition

Thakur's four directorial pursuits won the National Film Award in the Best Feature Film in Marathi category. He made a hat-trick by winning the Maharashtra State Film Awards in Best Film category from 1970 to 1972 and is the only director to do so.[6] In 2013, the Marathi-weekly magazine Lokprabha of the Indian Express Group included Me Tulas Tujhya Angani and Mumbaicha Jawai in their "Must Watch 40 Marathi Films" list.[4]

YearAwardCategoryWorkNotes Ref.
1955National Film AwardNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in MarathiMe Tulas Tujhya AnganiShared with production house Nav Chitra[5]
1962Rangalya Ratree AshyaShared with production house The Maharashtra Film Industrial Co-Operative Society Ltd.[9]
1968EkteeShared with producer G. Chaugle[11]
1970Mumbaicha JawaiShared with producer Tushar Pradhan[14]
Maharashtra State Film AwardsBest Film[6]
1972Jawai Vikat Ghene Aahe[6]


  1. Thakur, p. i.
  2. Pathak, Madhukar (18 April 2010). "रुपेरी प्रतिभेचा राजा!". Maharashtra Times (in Marathi). Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. Rajadhyaksha, p. 1994.
  4. Nandgaonkar, Sunil (19 April 2013). "पाहिलेच पाहिजेत असे ४० मराठी सिनेमे". Lokprabha (in Marathi). Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  5. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (28 April 1957). "3rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  6. K. Moti Gokulsing; Wimal Dissanayake (2013). Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. pp. 81–82. ISBN 9781136772849.
  7. Telang, Surendra. "जनमनाचा कानोसा". Navshakti (in Marathi). Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  8. Sanjit Narwekar; Raghuvir Kul; D. B. Samant (1995). Marathi Cinema: In retrospect. Maharashtra Film, Stage & Cultural Development Corp. p. 105.
  9. "10th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. 20 April 1963. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  10. Kulkarni, Dhananjay (19 April 2010). "मराठी नायक – लोकल ते ग्लोबल". Sakal (in Marathi). Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  11. "16th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. p. 2. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  12. Shanta Gokhale (20 August 2015). "City of dreams". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  13. Cultural News from India, Volume 12. Indian Council for Cultural Relations. 1971. p. 5.
  14. "18th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  15. Malhotra, Aps (20 March 2014). "Blast from the past: Zakhmee (1975)". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  16. Jerry Pinto (2006). Helen: The Life and Times of an H-bomb. India: Penguin Books India. p. 250. ISBN 9780143031246.
  17. Genres of Indian Cinema. p. 125.
  18. Rajadhyaksha, p. 627.
  19. Rajadhyaksha, p. 591.
  20. Rajadhyaksha, p. 594.
  21. Rajadhyaksha, p. 621.
  22. Rajadhyaksha, p. 581.
  23. Rajadhyaksha, p. 574.


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