Habib Tanvir

Posted on June 8, 2008. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh | Tags: , , , |

Director of the Naya Theatre Company, which he founded in 1959.


Bhopal Movie (2008) (pre-production)

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005) (as Tanveer Habib) …. Bahadur Shah Zafar
… aka Mangal Pandey (India: Hindi title)
… aka Mangal Pandey: The Rising (India: English title)

Mehndi (1998) (as Habib Tanwar)

The Burning Season (1993) …. Raja Sahib

Prahaar: The Final Attack (1991)
… aka The Blow (International: English title)

Hero Hiralal (1988)

Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin (1987) …. Akhtar Baig

Gandhi (1982) (as Habib Tanveer) …. Indian barrister
… aka Richard Attenborough’s Film: Gandhi (USA: complete title)

Staying On (1980) (TV) …. Dr Mitra
… aka Great Performances: Staying On (USA: series title)

Foot Path (1953)

Rahi (1953) …. Ramu
… aka The Wayfarer
… aka Two Leaves and a Bud

Charandas Chor (1975) (The Thief Charandas)

Direction Shyam Benegal; Screenplay Shama Zaidi Based on Habib Tanvir’s retelling of a famous Rajasthani folk tale. Songs were by Habib Tanvir and most of the dialogues were improvised by the folk artistes.

Charandas Chor

Charandas Chor

Directed by

Shyam Benegal

Produced by

Children’s Film Society of India

Written by

Vijaydan Detha (org. story)
Shyam Benegal & Shama Zaidi (Screen Adaptation)


Smita Patil, Lalu Ram, Sunder

Music by

Nand Kishore Mittal

Release date(s)


Running time

156 min





Charandas Chor (Charandas the Thief) is 1975 children’s film made by noted director Shyam Benegal, based of the famous play by Habib Tanvir, which itself was an adaptation of a classical Rajasthani folktale by Vijaydan Detha. Lyrics of the film were also by Habib Tanvir.

The film starred, Smita Patil, Lalu Ram, Madanlal and Habib Tanvir.


The film is derived from a classic folk tale, originally narrated by Vijaydan Detha, and interpreted as folk play by Habib Tanvir. The film charts the tumultuous life of a petty thief, Charandas (Lalu Ram), who makes four vows to his Guru, that he would never to eat in a gold plate, never to lead a procession that is in his honour, never to become a king and never to marry a princess, thinking all of them are far out possibilities for him. Later, his guru adds a fifth one – never to tell a lie and sets him of on his life’s journey which leads him to a kingdom, where the turn of events make him famous, and eventually he is offered the seat of political power which he has to refuse. Later, the local princess (Smita Patil) gets enchanted by him, and proposes to marry him. This is when his refusal costs him his life. As he is put to death, he illustrates the inherent paradox in human existence, where truthful existence becomes an impossiblilty, for the truthful and the accidentally truthfuls, alike.

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