Namak Haraam: A 1973 Hindi-Language Drama Film


Namak Haraam: A 1973 Hindi-Language Drama Film

Namak Haraam, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, is a 1973 Indian Hindi-language drama film. The movie’s soundtrack is by R.D. Burman, with screenplay by Gulzar and lyrics by Anand Bakshi. The film stars Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, along with Rekha, Asrani, Raza Murad, A. K. Hangal, Simi Garewal, and Om Shivpuri. Rajesh Khanna received his third BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi) in 1974 for this film, and Amitabh Bachchan won his second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1974.


The story revolves around two friends, Somu (Rajesh Khanna) and Vicky (Amitabh Bachchan). Somu infiltrates the factory where Vicky works as a worker and later the trade union as its leader to avenge the insult Vicky faced from the union leader. However, he is influenced by the plight of the workers and their ideals, which leads to a confrontation between the two friends. The movie showcases the rise of unions against the backdrop of Bombay’s textile mills and inflation in the early 1970s.


The movie has an ensemble cast, including:

  • Rajesh Khanna as Somnath Chander Singh (Somu)
  • Amitabh Bachchan as Vikram Maharaj (Vicky)
  • Simi Garewal as Manisha
  • Rekha as Shyama
  • Asrani as Dhondu, Shyama’s brother
  • A. K. Hangal as Bipinlal Pandey
  • Manju as Rama, Pandey’s assistant
  • Om Shivpuri as Damodar Maharaj
  • Manmohan as Jai Singh
  • Durga Khote as Somu’s mother
  • Manisha as Sarla, Somu’s sister
  • Raza Murad as Alam
  • Jayshree T. as Courtesan


The movie’s soundtrack is composed by Rahul Dev Burman, with all lyrics by Anand Bakshi. The song “Nadiya Se Dariya Dariya Se Saagar” was listed at #18 on the Binaca Geetmala annual list 1974.


The movie features some memorable songs, including:

  1. “Sooni Re Sejaria” by Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar (2:38)
  2. “Diye Jalte Hain Phool Khilte Hain” by Kishore Kumar (3:40)
  3. “Nadiya Se Dariya Dariya Se Saagar” by Kishore Kumar (4:11)
  4. “Woh Jhoota Hai Vote Na Usko Dena” by Kishore Kumar (3:29)
  5. “Main Shair Badnaam” by Kishore Kumar (5:21)

Awards and Nominations

Namak Haraam won several awards, including:

  • Amitabh Bachchan won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
  • Gulzar won the Filmfare Best Dialogue Award
  • Rajesh Khanna won the BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi)

Asrani was also nominated for the Filmfare Best Comedian Award.

Namak Haraam was a commercial success, becoming the 5th highest-grossing film of 1973. The movie was remade in Tamil as Unakkaga Naan. The core plot of the movie was based on the sub-plot of the 1967 Telugu movie Prana Mithrulu, which itself was loosely inspired by the storyline of the 1964 movie Becket.

Overall, Namak Haraam is a classic Bollywood movie with a strong storyline, powerful performances, and memorable songs. It’s a must-watch for fans of Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as those interested in the history of Indian cinema.