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How Ashok Kumar Came To Be Known As Dada Moni

Born into an aristocratic family, Himanshu Roy is one of the leading pioneers of the Indian cinema. Bombay Talkies studio, which produced a number of hits and launched several stars, was his brainchild. It was set up in 1934 along with his actress wife Devika Rani. The other partner was Shashdhar Mukherji who roped in his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar Ganguly as a technician. According to a knowledgeable source, Roy in a fit of rage threw the leading hero out of the movie as he suspected him of having an affair with his wife Devika. Now, the whole studio was in a fix as the movie was going on the floor. A desperate hunt began for a new hero and everybody’s eyes fell on Ashok Kumar and he was cast as a hero opposite Devika Rani. Now rose another tricky situation. Since Mukherji was controlling the whole project there was an issue as to how he would address Ashok Kumar who was his wife’s elder brother. His nickname was Moni so Mukherji like a good Bengali added the prefix Dada to Moni and started calling him “Dada Moni”. The rest is history.