Rattan Kumar – Profile
Rattan Kumar, along with Baby Tabassum and Baby Naaz, was the most sought-after child-star of Bombay Cinema. Rattan would inevitably bag the coveted role whenever the demands of the script called for the hero’s childhood to be shown on screen. As such, Rattan played the childhood roles for quite a few important actors of India, including Nasir Khan in Aangarey (1954) and Bharat Bhushan in Baiju Bawra (1952). Raj Kapoor’s Boot Polish (1954), a film on the street kids of Bombay, brought international accolades for Rattan and his child co-star, Baby Naaz. In the mid-fifties he came to Pakistan with his family and settled in Lahore. His first appearance was in Sharif Nayar’s Masoom (1957), a family melodrama which attracted a large female audience. The song Lelo Choorian, picturized on Rattan, became a favorite of children of all ages.
Bedari (1957), his second movie in Pakistan, was a carbon copy of India’s Jagriti (1954). It dealt with national sentiments and was a colossal success mainly because of the songs that the music director Fateh Ali Khan adapted (read plagiarized) from the original. Almost all the songs were the same except for some changes in the lyrics to suit our locale. Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu of Jagriti (1954) was changed to Quaid-e-Azam or Baba-e-Qaum. Rattan was launched as the leading man in Khalil Qaiser’s Nagin (1959). The film did great business, but just like many popular child stars of his time Rattan never became successful as a film hero.