Bollywood movies from Afghanistan: ‘Khuda Gaon’ was housefull in Kabul for 10 weeks, Afghanistan has a special connection with Bollywood
Talking about the films shot in Afghanistan, Feroz Khan’s ‘Dharmatma’ will definitely come to mind. Hema Malini played the role of Reshma, an Afghan girl. Reshma Hindustani’s son Feroz Khan’s character falls in love with Ranbir. Hema Malini became very popular in Afghanistan after playing the role of an Afghan girl in this film. Hema Malini is still well known in those days. The main part of the film is shot in Afghanistan.
The ‘Khuda Sakshidar’ housefull was run for 10 weeks in Kabul
A large part of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s 1992 film ‘Khuda Gawah’ was also shot in Afghanistan. The film stars Amitabh as Badshah Khan, Sridevi as Benazir and Danny as Khuda Baksh Afghani. Most of the film was shot in Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, Kabul and surrounding areas in Afghanistan. The film made Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi more popular in Afghanistan. Even today, most people in Afghanistan know Amitabh Bachchan. The film’s popularity in Afghanistan can be gauged from the fact that ‘Khuda Gawah’ ran housefull for 10 weeks in Kabul cinemas.
When Afghan President Najibullah welcomed Amitabh
Najibullah Ahmadzai became President of Afghanistan in 1987 after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Najibullah was very fond of Bollywood movies. He had personally phoned Amitabh Bachchan and made him stay in a state guest house like a VVIP. There, Amitabh Bachchan fell in love with an open heart. Amitabh once told how he welcomed her by taking her and Danny on his shoulders. Najibullah’s government fell in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Civil war broke out in Afghanistan, and in 1996, Najibullah was publicly hanged by the Taliban. Then a bad phase began in Afghanistan.
The Kabul Express was the last film in Afghanistan
After the end of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, director Kabir Khan made the film ‘Kabul Express’. John Abraham and Arshad Warsi played the roles of Indian journalists, while Pakistani actor Salman Shahid played the role of the Afghan Taliban. The film was shot at Green Palace, Bala Hisar Fort, Darul Aman Palace and Panjshir Valley in Kabul. No film has been shot in Afghanistan since.
Posters of ‘Tulshi’ and ‘Parvati’ were sold in the Afghan market
Over time, after Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Sridevi, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan also became very popular in Afghanistan. Then through piracy from Pakistan, CDs of Bollywood movies were sold in Afghanistan. Even today, most people in Afghanistan have learned Hindi by watching Bollywood movies. Not only Indian films but also TV series are popular in Afghanistan. After the end of the Taliban regime, Ekta Kapoor’s TV serials ‘Kunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ became very popular. The popularity of Smriti Irani and Sakshi Tanwar in the Afghan market can be gauged from the fact that posters of Tulsi and Parvati were widely sold in the market.
Afghans’ love for Bollywood will not diminish
Film watching was completely banned after the Taliban came to power. However, the love for Bollywood remained alive in the hearts of the people of Afghanistan. After the US invaded the Taliban 20 years ago, Afghanistan once again had an open atmosphere, after which people once again began to be attracted to Bollywood movies. With the return of the Taliban regime, the old situation may return as the tribal government may once again impose restrictions on the people. But no matter how many restrictions are imposed, it will be difficult for Afghans to lose their love for Bollywood.
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