Raghubir Yadav is an actor and music composer who has won two international awards for acting and been a part of over 70 plays. 8 of his movies have been India’s official submission for the Oscars, and recently, he won over the audience with his portrayal of the mild-mannered, endearing pradhanpati in Panchayat.
An alumnus of NSD, Raghubir Yadav has given Indian TV and Film industry some of the most memorable characters and groundbreaking performances, like these:
1. Mungerilal in Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne
As the quintessential wishful thinker, Mungerilal was a reflection of every common man who dreams of a better future. As effective as the writing of the show was, it was Yadav’s believable portrayal of a grumbling, frustrated average man that allowed people to relate to his struggles and dream, no matter how commonplace.
2. Chacha Chaudhary in Chacha Chaudhary
Raghubir Yadav flawlessly brought alive Chacha Chaudhary’s sharp wit, detective skills, and general badassery that made him one of the coolest comic book characters.
3. Francis Massey in Massey Sahib
With his debut film, Raghubir Yadav established himself as an actor to look out for. His earnest performance as an ambitious but guileless clerk won him two international awards, Best Actor at the 1987 International Film Festival of India and Fipresci Critics Award for Best Actor at the 1986 Venice International Film Festival.
4. Chillum in Salaam Bombay!
The winner of two National Film Awards, Salaam Bombay was a searing exploration of the other side of the city of dreams. Yadav played child protagonist Krishna’s (Shafiq Saeed) drug-addict friend and mentor and gave a powerful performance as a conflicted soul, looking for a purpose in life.
5. Bhura in Lagaan
Raghubir Yadav plays the role of the farmer Bhura in the film, He is naturally adept at a fielding, thanks to years of practice of running behind chickens. From his naive, almost comical acceptance of his newly discovered talent to the unmistakable hope he places in Bhuvan’s scheme, Yadav convincingly portrayed Bhura’s emotions even in a limited screen presence.
6. Budhia in Peepli Live!
The film’s raw, humane but unapologetic look at farmer suicides, tinged with black humor, worked because of actors like Raghubir Yadav. It did not look like he was playing a character, but rather, he appeared to have actually lived the life of desolation and harsh acceptance so common to farmers in India. Yadav even sang the now-famous song Mehengai Dayan from the film.
7. Karim in Firaaq
There are few actors who can command your attention when sharing screen space with industry stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah. Raghubir Yadav is one such actor, and he proved it with the role of Karim, Khan Sahib’s (Shah) loyal but whining aide in Firaaq.
8. Adolf Hitler in Gandhi to Hitler
The only thing the movie had going for it was Raghubir Yadav’s winning performance as Hitler. With the film, Yadav added another feather to his range as an actor, even though, it remains an entirely forgettable historical drama, with dismal writing and direction.
9. Loknath in Newton
In the middle of the battle between idealism and pragmatism–that was the crux of the film–Raghubir Yadav was the representation of tired but cheerful acceptance. As Loknanth, he was an officer who would not change the world, but neither would he improve it. He was, to put it simply, a representative of the average Indian workforce.
10. Mauji’s father in Sui Dhaaga
It takes a certain kind of talent to effectively make the audience smile even in the midst of a desolate situation. Raghubir Yadav has been displaying this art for years, and his performance of the prickly, conservative father in Sui Dhaaga was another feather in his cap.
11. Pradhanpati in Panchayat
A mild-mannered pradhanpati with all the arrogance of being the most powerful man in the village, but none of the harsh cruelty you associate with power, Raghubir Yadav’s was a delight to watch on-screen.
Whether he is exemplifying the desires and struggles of the average, middle-class Indian, portraying a character from world history, personifying poverty, or showcasing the complacency of power, Raghubir Yadav has proved to be the man for the role. Perhaps that’s why he is one of those actors whose performances the audience always looks forward to.