Pankaj Mullick

Last updated

Pankaj Mullick
Pankaj Mullick.jpg
Mullick in the film Doctor, 1941
Born(1905-05-10)10 May 1905
Died19 February 1978(1978-02-19) (aged 72)
Occupationmusical composer, singer and actor
Known forsinging, music direction, composition and acting

Pankaj Mullick, also known as Pankaj Kumar Mullick (পঙ্কজকুমার মল্লিক Pôngkoj Kumar Mollik; 10 May 1905 – 19 February 1978), was a popular Bengali Indian music composer, playback singer and actor, who was a pioneer of film music in Bengali cinema and Hindi cinema at the advent of playback singing, as well as an early exponent of Rabindra Sangeet. [1] [2] [3] [4]


He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1970, [5] followed by the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (India's highest award in cinema, given by the Government of India) in 1972 for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. [4] [6]

Early life and training

Pankaj Kumar Mullick was born in Kolkata to Monimohan and Monomohini Mullick. His father Monimohan had a deep interest in traditional Bengali music. He started his early training in Indian classical music under the tutelage of Durgadas Bandyopadhyaya. He studied at the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta. [7] An important turning point in his life came when, after finishing his studies, he came in contact with Dinendranath Tagore, who was Rabindranath Tagore's grand-nephew. This led to Pankaj Mullick's lasting interest in Rabindra Sangeet. Rabindranath Tagore, in turn, grew fond of him, and soon Mullick became known as one of the leading exponents of Tagore's songs. [1] [8]


Tagore's song Nemecche Aaj Prothom Badal became his first commercial recording, with the Kolkata-based Videophone Company in 1926, at the age of twenty one. This was the first of many albums which made him a household name in Rabindra sangeet. [1]

He started his career with the Indian Broadcasting Corporation in Calcutta in 1927, the forerunner of All India Radio (AIR), along with composer R. C. Boral, where he contributed as a music director and artist for nearly fifty years. Apart from composing songs for movies, he also composed a programme called Mahishashur Mardini. This program was based on the triumph Maa Durga over the demon Mahishashur. The programme included Chandi Path by BIrendra Krishna Bhadra and agomoni songs by various singers. This programme gained such a huge popularity that till date, the recorded version of this programme is played by All India Radio on the day of Mahalaya at 4:00 am. [1] [3]

He contributed in various capacities to Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tamil language films for 38 years, starting in 1931. He worked as music director to artists like K.L. Saigal, S.D. Burman, Hemanta Mukherjee, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle. He acted with famous film actors like K L Saigal, P.C. Barua and Kanan Devi. Along with Nitin Bose and his renowned sound engineer brother Mukul Bose, Mullick introduced playback singing in Indian cinema. [3]

He worked with one of the early film studios, New Theatres Calcutta for 25 years. [3]


Mullick on a 2006 stamp of India Pankaj Mullick 2006 stamp of India.jpg
Mullick on a 2006 stamp of India

The Indian Postal Service released a postage stamp on his birth centenary in 2006 on 4 August, and on 10 May, Doordarshan, India's state television channel, telecast a special music programme to commemorate the occasion. Five decades earlier, it was he and Bharatanatyam danseuse Vyjayanthimala who were lead performers at the nationwide launch of the channel in 1959. [4]


1955 Raikamal
1954 Chitrangada
1952 Yatrik
1952 Mahaprasthaner Pathey
1952 Zalzala
1950 Rupkatha
1949 Manzoor
1948 Pratibad
1947 Ramer Sumati
1945 Dui Purush
1944 Meri Bahen
1943 Kashinath
1943 Dikshul
1942 Meenakshi
1940 Doctor
1940 Nartaki
1940 Zindagi
1939 Badi Didi
1939 Dushman
1939 Kapal Kundala
1938 Abhagin
1938 Abhigyan
1938 Desher Mati
1938 Dharti Mata
1938 Jiban Maran
1937 Badi Bahen
1937 Didi
1937 Mukti
1936 Devdas
1936 Grihadah
1936 Karodpati a.k.a. Millionaire with R. C. Boral
1936 Maya
1936 Manzil
1933 Yahudi Ki Ladki
1931 Chasher Meye


See also

Related Research Articles

Hemant Kumar Indian singer

Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, known professionally as Hemant Kumar, was an Indian Bengali singer and music director who sang in Bengali, Hindi and other Indian languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Odia, Assamese, Tamil, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Konkani, Sanskrit and Urdu. He was an artist of Bengali and Hindi film music, Rabindra Sangeet, and many other songs. He was the recipient of two National Awards for Best Male Playback Singer.

Music of Bengal

Bengali music comprises a long tradition of religious and secular song-writing over a period of almost a millennium. Composed with lyrics in the Bengali language, Bengali music spans a wide variety of styles.

Rabindra Sangeet Songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindra Sangeet, also known as Tagore Songs, are songs from the Indian subcontinent written and composed by the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Indian and also the first Asian to receive such recognition. Tagore was a prolific composer with approximately 2,232 songs to his credit. The songs have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh.

K. L. Saigal

Kundan Lal Saigal, often abbreviated as K. L. Saigal, was an Indian singer and actor who is considered the first superstar of the Hindi film industry, which was centred in Kolkata during Saigal's time, but is currently centred in Mumbai. Saigal's unique voice quality which was a mixture of baritone and soft tenor was the benchmark for most of the singers who followed him. In fact it remains the gold standard even today shining through very early and practically primitive recording technology.

Soumitra Chatterjee Indian actor

Soumitra Chatterjee was an Indian film actor, director, playwright, writer and poet. He is best known for his collaborations with director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films.

Raichand Boral

Rai Chand Boral was an Indian composer, considered by music connoisseurs to be the Bhishma Pitamah, the father of film music in India.

Kanika Banerjee

Kanika Banerjee was an Bengali Rabindra Sangeet singer.

Pramathesh Barua

Pramathesh Chandra Barua was an Indian actor, director, and screenwriter of Indian films in the pre-independence era, born in Gauripur.

Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta is a Bengali musician and exponent of Rabindra Sangeet.

Kanan Devi Indian actress

Kanan Devi was an Indian actress and singer. She was among the early singing stars of Indian cinema, and is credited popularly as the first star of Bengali cinema. Her singing style, usually in rapid tempo, was used instrumentally in some of the biggest hits of New Theatres, Kolkata.

Suchitra Mitra

Suchitra Mitra was an Indian singer, composer,artist exponent of Rabindra Sangeet or the songs of Bengal's poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore, professor, and the first woman Sheriff of Kolkata. As an academic, she remained a professor and the Head of Rabindra Sangeet Department at the Rabindra Bharati University for many years. Mitra was a playback singer in Bengali films and was associated for many years with the Indian People's Theatre Association.

Santidev Ghosh

Santidev Ghose was an Indian author, singer, actor, dancer and maestro of Rabindra Sangeet.

Debaki Bose

Debaki Bose (1898–1971), Padma Shri, also known as Debaki Kumar Bose, was an Indian director, writer, and actor who is recognized for his contribution in Hindi as well as Bengali cinema. He was born on 25 November 1898 in Akalposh,, Burdwan, Bengal, British India. He died on 17 November 1971 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. He is known for his innovative use of sound and music in Indian Cinema. He worked first under the banner of British Dominion Films of Dhiren Ganguly and later with Pramathesh Barua's Barua Pictures and finally he joined New Theatres banner in 1932. He started his own production company, Debaki Productions, in 1945.

Nitin Bose

Nitin Bose was an Indian film director, cinematographer and screenwriter of the nation's film industry. He was born in Calcutta and died in the same city. In the 1930s and early 1940s, he worked with New Theatres, who made bilingual movies: in both Bengali and Hindi. Later, he moved to Bombay and directed under the banners of Bombay Talkies and Filmistan.

Nirmal Kumar Sidhanta was a renowned Bengali Indian scholar of English literature, at the University of Lucknow and at the University of Calcutta.

Indrani Sen is a Bengali singer who is known for Nazrul geeti and Rabindra Sangeet.

Birendranath Sircar

Birendranath Sircar was an Indian film producer and the founder of New Theatres Calcutta. He made Bengali-language films that were noted for introducing many film directors who later became famous. He was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1970 and the third highest civilian award in India, the Padma Bhushan, in 1972.

Dwijen Mukhopadhyay

Dwijen Mukhopadhyay was an Indian composer and singer whose musical career spanned six decades. He was an accomplished performer of Rabindrasangeet, Bengali basic songs, Bengali and Hindi film songs. He recorded more than 1500 songs, of which about 800 are songs of Rabindranath Tagore. He also directed music in Bengali feature films and composed music for popular Bengali basic songs. He died on 24 December 2018

Mohabbat Ke Ansu is a 1932 Indian Urdu-language social romantic film. It was directed by Premankur Atorthy for New Theatres Ltd. Calcutta. The music for the film was directed by R. C. Boral. The film starred K. L. Saigal in his debut role with Akthari Muradabadi, Mahajabeen, Ansari and Sadiq. According to reports the film was not successful however Nevile claims that the "debut was successful beyond expectations" as it led to Saigal acting in several New Theatres films.

Karodpati is a Hindi/Urdu 1936 comedy film directed by Hemchander Chunder. The film was produced by New Theatres Ltd. Calcutta, and the music was composed by R. C. Boral with the assistance of Pankaj Mullick. The lyrics were written by Kidar Sharma who also acted in the film. The film starred K. L. Saigal, Sardar Akhtar, Molina Devi, Pahari Sanyal, Nawab, Trilok Kapoor, Rajkumari, and Kidar Sharma. The film showcased K. L. Saigal performing a farcical-comedy role which was a different format from his normal tragedy based stories. The story revolves around a cinema-crazy young man who wins a lottery, leading to a series of comedic situations when his friends join him.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Upperstall Profile".
  2. "Rooted to the core". The Hindu. 20 January 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Biography Archived 9 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. 1 2 3 "Mullick again". The Hindu . 10 June 2005. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010.
  5. "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
  6. Recipients of Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
  7. Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008. page 590
  8. "An unequalled music". Times of India. 22 May 2010.