After all those controversies raked up questions asked, accusations made, Richard Attenborough has not only completed his magnum opus "Gandhi" but has sold it to Columbia for worldwide distribution. The English version is already in the cans. Attenborough is busy these days in Bombay at the B.R. Sound N' Music studio readying the Hindi version. The question now being asked is whose voice is being used for Gandhi in the Hindi version. A number of voices were tested and though not officially announced, it is understood that Pankaj Kapoor, a well-known Delhi stage actor and product of National School of Drama, has been chosen. Kapoor has already made his entry into films-he did a couple of films including Shyam Benegal's "Aarohan" and M S Sathyu's "Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya". He was one of the twelve angry men in the play "Rukha Hua Faisla" that came from Delhi and took Bombay stage by storm earlier this year.
There have been a couple of previews of the English version of "Gandhi" held in Delhi and Bombay. Simi Garewal saw it and said she was "immensely moved." Her reaction was overwhelming - some of the scenes she recalled were the Jallianwalabagh massacre and Gandhiji's funeral. She was impressed by Ben Kingsley's Gandhi. It is reported that nearly everyone who has seen the film has held back tears at least once if not more while viewing the film.
The world preview of "Gandhi" is expected to be held in Delhi sometime in November followed by premiers in London and New York. Both the versions of the film will be shown in India.
Richard Attenborough's detractors have not quite given up-the latest controversy they have on concerns a brochure of the film that is being circulated aboard. Apparently this does not mention the Indian actors and acknowledges the participation of NFDC in very small print.....
This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s June 1-15, 1980 edition.