Prem Dhawan
Born(1923-06-13)13 June 1923
Ambala, Haryana, India
Died7 May 2001(2001-05-07) (aged 77)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation(s)Lyricist, composer
Known forBollywood music
FamilyUma Prem Dhawan (Wife)
Shyamlee Prem Dhawan (Daughter)
AwardsPadma Shri
National Film Award for Best Lyrics

Prem Dhawan (1923–2001) was an Indian lyricist, music composer, choreographer and actor of Bollywood known for his patriotic songs, especially for the lyrics and compositions for the 1965 Manoj Kumar starrer, Shaheed.[1] He was a winner of the National Film Award for Best Lyrics in 1971[2] and was honoured by the Government of India in 1970 with Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award.[3]


Prem Dhawan was born on 13 June 1923 at Ambala in the present day Haryana state of India[1] to a Jail Superintendent working for the British government. He did his college studies in Lahore during which period he was involved with the activities of the Communist party of India. He started his career in Lahore in 1946 as Assistant of Composer Khwaja Khurshid Anwar in Khwaja Ahmad Abbas's film Aaj Aur Kal. He later moved to Mumbai to join the Indian People's Theatre Association. His association with the Indian People's Theatre Association helped him to learn classical music under the renowned classical musician, Ravi Shankar. In 1946, he debuted as a lyricist with the movie, Dharti Ke Lal,[1] the first of the several till his last film, the Hindi version of Apoorva Sagodharargal, in 1989. In between, he wrote lyrics for a string of films such as Aaram, Tarana, Aasman, Shola Aur Shabnam, Kabuliwala, Ek Phool Do Mali and Purab Aur Pachhim.[1] He also composed music for several films like Shaheed, which was reported to have enhanced the status of Dhawan and the lead actor of the film, Manoj Kumar.[1] The film featured some of the hits of the time in Ae Watan Ae Watan[4] and Mera Rang De Basanti Chola.[5]

Dhawan, apart from his career as a lyricist and composer, acted in two films, Lajawab (1950) and Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959). He also worked as a choreographer for seven films (Vachan was the first film as choreographer and lyricist), though not with much success. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1970. He won the National Film Award for Best Lyrics in 1971 for the film, Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar.[2] His career faded towards the eighties and did not have any notable contribution except for the 1989 dubbed movie, Apoorva Sagodharargal.[1] He died on 7 May 2001, at the age of 77, following a cardiac arrest.

As a lyricist

As a composer

As a choreographer

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "My Swar". My Swar. 2015. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "National Film award". Hindi Lyrics. 2015. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Ae Watan Ae Watan". YouTube. Crazy Old Songs. 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Mera Rang De basanti". YouTube. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Best Traditional song as a Composer Sambhalo Ae Watan Walo Watan Apna". RedMux. Retrieved 8 January 2018.