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Dr. Jabbar Patel
Patel in December 2010
Born (1942-06-23) 23 June 1942 (age 81)
  • Theatre
  • film director
Years active1973–present

Dr. Jabbar Patel (born 23 June 1942) is a former paediatrician and a Marathi-language theatre and film director of India. His production of Vijay Tendulkar's play Ghashiram Kotwal, in 1973 is considered a classic in Modern Indian Theatre.[1] Patel received Filmfare Marathi Lifetime Achievement Award at 7th Filmfare Awards Marathi.[2]

He is the maker of classics films in Marathi cinema, like, Samna, Jait Re Jait (Mohan Agashe, Smita Patil), Umbartha (Smita Patil, Girish Karnad), Simhasan (Nana Patekar, Shreeram Lagoo, Reema Lagoo) Some of his other films are, Mukta, Ek Hota Vidushak, and Musafir (Hindi). His most acclaimed film is Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar released in 1999.[3] He won the 1995 Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration for his Marathi film, Mukta.

Personal life

Patel was born in 1942 in Pandharpur in present day Indian state of Maharashtra. His father was employed in Indian Railways. He obtained his early school education in Haribhai Deokaran High school Solapur. He qualified as a doctor, specialising in paediatric medicine from B. J. Medical College in Pune. He and his wife, a gynecologist ran a clinic in Daund near Pune.The couple have two daughters.


Patel started acting while in elementary school. In Solapur, he lived with Shriram Pujari, who was an influential personality in that city. Staying at his home, Jabbar Patel was able to take a closer look at the people from Marathi theatre world who used to stay at the Pujari residence. The roles he played in his high school play Chaphekar, in the silent drama, Hadacha zunzar aahes tu, as well of Shyam in 'Tujh Hai Tujpashi' while in college were appreciated.

Patel started his career with the Marathi experimental theatre group, Progressive Dramatic association (PDA) founded by Bhalba Kelkar. In PDA produced plays, he acted as well as directed. He directed Vijay tendulkar's Ashi Pakhare yeti for PDA which was a great commercial success. In 1972, Patel and colleagues such as Mohan Agashe, and Satish Alekar broke away from PDA over differences on staging their new production, Ghashiram Kotwal written by Vijay Tendulkar.[4] They formed a new group called Theatre Academy. After Ghashiram Kotwal, the group produced 'Teen Paishacha Tamasha', an adaptation of Brecht's Threepenny Opera in 1974.[5]


He wrote the lyrics of the song 'Raya asa Zombu naka angala' from the film Samna. He has worked on the film based on the life and work of Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.[6]

For Jabbar Patel, tackling a political subject is not something new. Whether it was Umbartha, Jait Re Jait, or Simhasan for the silver screen, or Ghasiram Kotwal for the stage, he has handled political subjects. His recent film is also political based "Yashwantrao Chavan".

Jait Re Jait (1977) is a musical milestone in the history of Indian cinema, and expresses the stories of a forgotten tribe through dance and a total of 19 songs. Next came Simhasan (1981) made in a montage style with 35 characters, both won the National Awards. One of Patel’s most acclaimed works is Umbartha (1981), a film featuring Smita Patil as the superintendent of a woman’s reform home.[7]


Festival circuit

Jabbar Patel is the chairman of the Pune Film Foundation, and the festival director of the Pune International Film Festival. First Edition of PIFF was started in year 2002 and has been running annually.


  1. ^ Performance Tradition and Modern Theatre Archived 11 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Filmfare Awards Marathi 2022: Prasad Oak, Sayali Sanjeev Bag Top Honours, Godavari Named Best Film. Full Winners List". Zoom TV. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Resurgence of an icon Babasaheb Ambedkar". 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ Malvika Maheshwari (16 October 2018). "Post Script:The Dissent to Violence". Art Attacks: Violence and Offence-Taking in India. OUP India. ISBN 978-0-19-909378-6.
  5. ^ "chaos- magazine". Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Article from". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  7. ^ Goenka, Tula (2014). Not Only Bollywood. Om Books International, 2014. ISBN 9789381607176.