Vijay Tandon- an unsung hero of Punjabi Films, by Brij Bhushan Goyal
In this global scenario of economic disruptions and in the rat race of getting ahead financially, this competitive struggle is leading us to insanity as we are forgetting our cultural institutions and personalities which gave us solace through their memorable creative works by keeping our bonds intact with our ethos.
One such name from Punjab is of Vijay Tandon who was born in an old charming town of Jagron on 13th, March 1950. He was only in his sixteen when in 1966 he was fortunate to join the theater pursuits with famed theater artists like Gursharan Singh, Surjit Singh Sethi, Kapur Singh Ghuman, Harpal Tiwana and Bhag Singh.
Later, when the Department of Indian Theatre was formally instituted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, two plays ‘The Little Clay Cart’ and ‘Gagan Mein Thal’- directed by Prof. Balwant Gargi, a renowned Dramatist and a Punjabi language writer from India had then become a craze with the theater lovers. Vijay Tandon played major roles in these first two biggest plays staged in the region. Shiv Batalvi, another Punjabi poet of world fame had penned the songs for these plays. Although, Vijay Tandon’s first Panjabi film as Hero was released in the year 1973, he continued his stage performances in India and abroad as well.
Vijay Tandon has acted in more than sixty Panjabi films till date, the most popular amongst them were, ‘Maa Da Laadla, ‘Mitter Pyare Nu’, ‘Jatti’, Dara Singh’s ‘Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladayoon’, ‘Yamla Jatt’, ‘Shaheed Udham Singh’, ‘Sassi-Punnu’, ‘Sacha Mera Roop Hai’, ‘Yaar Gareeban Da’, ‘Sardar –E-Azam’ (played the title role in this film, based on the life of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha), Kachehari, ‘Jatt & Juliet – 2’, Munde Kamaal De’, ‘Jatts in Golmaal’, ‘Mrs & Mr 420’, ‘Vaisakhi List’, 'Golak-Bugni-Bank Te Batua', 'Laung Laachhi', 'Marriage Palace', 'Teri Meri Jodi' and 'Rabb Da Radio-2', 'Nanka Mel', 'Gidhar Singhi', and 'Khattre Da Ghuggu'.he is now working on his forthcoming films ‘Boo Main Darr Gi’, ‘Muqqadar’, ‘Parindey’ and ‘Nishana’.
A prolific writer too, Vijay Tandon has written stories, screenplays and dialogues for many Panjabi films and serials. His script for his film ‘Kachehari’ won the National Award in the year 1994 for the Best Feature Film in Panjabi starring Gurdas Maan, Yograj Singh in lead roles. He also penned the story for his Hindi film, ‘Sarhad Paar’(2006) which starred Sanjay Dutt, Tabu, Mahima Chaudhry and Chandrachur Singh in pivotal roles.
His contribution to Television too is no less .He did about fifteen Panjabi serials and also wrote and produced a few of them. These were, ‘Do Akalgarh’, ‘Sarhad’, ‘Rano’, ‘Apni Mitti’, and the most popular amongst them all, ‘Mann Jeete Jagjeet’. He also did many Hindi serials as well; these were, ‘Buniyaad’ with Ramesh Sippy, ‘Tara’ with Raman Kumar, ‘Dada Dadi Ki Kahani’ with Ramanand Sagar, etc.
In his glorious career spanning 50 years he was honored by Panjab Sangeet and Naatak Academy, Department of Cultural Affairs (Panjab) and was also given Special Recognition Award by PTC Punjabi. Vijay Tandon who has been groomed in magnanimity and assimilation is a beautiful human being too. Though many a literary societies and luminaries keep honoring him, the Film Maker, Writer and Actor in Vijay Tandon holds further promise to contribute significantly to Punjabiyat and Punjab through his artistic acumen and literary knack.
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