Kiran Malikwrote on Aug 11 2008 7:11PM
Chetan Anand was born on January 3, 1915 in Lahore and was an acclaimed film producer, screenwriter and director from India. He served as an active Congress worker in the 1930s after graduating from Government College in Lahore. Subsequently he taught history in the early 1940s, and it was during this time that he decided to write a film script based on Ashoka The Great. But before that he aspired to join the ICS and went to England along with another illustrious classmate from Lahore, Khushwant Singh, to appear for the exams. Both of them were unsuccessful and the result was entry to filmdom and journalism.
Chetan Anand came to Mumbai to sell the script on King Ashoka and during his meetings with people from the film world, he was introduced to the director Phani Majumdar. Majumdar instant liked his curly-haired look and cast him as a hero in his film Rajkumar which was released in 1944. He soon took to film direction with the well-acclaimed movie, Neecha Nagar (1946) which was the debut film for Kamini Kaushal.
After the critical acclaim of his directorial debut, Chetan along with his younger brother Dev Anand set up `Navketan Productions' in the early 50s. Afsar(1950), starring Dev Anand and Suraiya, was the first film made by him under the banner. It turned out to be a moderate success. Taxi Driver (1954) and Andhiyan (1952) were other notable films he directed for Navketan.
Later on Chetan Anand started his own production banner called Himalaya films and teamed up with photographer Jal Mistry, music director Madan Mohan lyrics writer Kaifi Azmi and actress Priya Rajvansh. Together they gave some of most memorable and unique films in Hindi cinema like Haqeeqat(1964), Heer Raanjha(1970), Hanste Zakhm(1973) and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973). Apart from 17 feature films he is also known for the acclaimed television serial Param Vir Chakra which was aired on Doordarshan in 1988.
He died on July 10, 1997 at Nanavati hospital is Mumabi, India at the age of 82. He was suffering from kidney failure and chronic asthma.
Neecha Nagar bagged him an award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946.
After separation from his wife he had a long time relationship with the actress Priya Rajvansh, she was the heroine of his film Haqeeqat and all films after that. He had a relationship with her till his death. He is the father of Ketan Anand and the elder brother of Dev Anand and Vijay Anand. 'Chetan Anand: The Poetics of Film', is a book written by Chetan Anand's wife Uma Anand and son Ketan Anand ,released in 2006.