Kailash Budhwar, the former BBC Hindi and Tamil head, who played Aurangzeb and Salim

Amit Roy, The Telegraph‘s excellent London diarist has an obit of Kailash Budhwar in today’s paper.

Kailash Budhwar, who died in London on July 11, aged 88, was head of Hindi and Tamil at the BBC from 1979-1992, the first Indian to be appointed to the post. There was a big following in India for his London Se Patra, later published in two volumes.

“Before coming to the United Kingdom to join the BBC in 1970, he worked for All India Radio and also had a spell as a teacher and housemaster. His lifelong interest in theatre was sealed by his experiences at the Prithvi Theatres in Bombay from May 1954 to June 1955 under its founder, Prithviraj Kapoor.

“The latter was impressed when he first saw Kailash play Aurangzeb in a college production of Shahjahan. Later, as a member of Prithviraj’s touring company, Kailash’s great wish to play “Salim” in a particular play was granted. This was a about a Muslim family where some members go to Pakistan at the time of Partition but Salim chooses to remain in India.

“Kailash was a popular and respected figure in Indian journalistic circles in London. Numbers at his funeral, expected to be held any day now, are restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic but so many have expressed a desire to attend that the family has decided to live-stream the service, I am told by his daughter, the actress, Mamta Kaash.

“She sums up her father’s legacy thus: “He took us to a gurdwara, he took us to a mosque, he took us to a temple, he took us to church but he never celebrated religion as religion: he was spiritual. He said to us. ‘It’s all the same sun, you just call it by different names.’”

Screenshot: courtesy The Telegraph

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