FlippED is an ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together and share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject. 

Villains have always been an integral part of Indian cinema. They appear as larger than life figures who viciously hate the hero and are glorified because of their negativity to keep movie plots interesting.

Indian cinema has witnessed the birth and legacy of many villains but only a few remain cult.

Here is the ultimate battle of villains between Bollywood’s two most epic villains: Mogambo Vs Gabbar

“You can take out Mr. India from Mogambo but you absolutely cannot take out Mogambo from Mr. India!”

~ Blogger Yogita Rathore

Mogambo is easily one of the most renowned Bollywood villains and no one but Amrish Puri could have pulled off the character with so much perfection. “Mogambo khush hua” with that devilish smirk still sends down chills amongst crowds.

Mogambo was a crazy General who was on a hunt for a formula to become invisible so that he could rule the world. His booming voice announced his arrival in a scene even before he was there on-screen. No wonder his character is one of the most dreadful Bollywood villains of all time.

mogambo vs gabbar

The back story of the character of Mogambo is also something that makes people fear and wonder about the kind of evil things such a character is capable of doing. What added to the evilness of the character was the overdramatic getup.

Mogambo wore a heavily embroidered coat with huge epaulettes and fringes. His pants used to be tucked into his boots like a typical force Dictator. He was given chunky-heavy rings and a gelled blond wig to give the character a dramatic Bollywood villain look.

He also carried a stick and almost gave off a taller Hitler vibe. The character Mogambo is almost perfect as it checks out every essential for being a great villain: devilishness, wacky dressing, a good back story and a desire to rule the world!

Truth be told, Gabbar doesn’t even come close to being a better villain than Mogambo. He didn’t even look like a villain let alone scare people or give off that devilish vibe.

If anything, he is just a short-round guy with a weird laugh who exchanged dialogues with his clan for inducing laughter in the audience, not fear!

Throughout Sholay, Gabbar is shown as someone who is really lazy. Too lazy to be a villain in fact! A guy who just relies on his subordinates to work the villain charm for him. Mogambo, on the other hand, stands out in every scene in Mr. India.

mogambo vs gabbar

You can take out Mr. India from Mogambo but you absolutely cannot take out Mogambo from Mr. India!


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Contradictorily, here’s why Gabbar is the ultimate villain:

“Gabbar’s vocabulary was dotted with cult one liners which are still chanted today. He had more than one iconic dialogue. From “tera kya hoga kaliya” to “suar ke bachcho” and “ bohot yaarana lagta hai”.”

~ Blogger Janhavi Sharma

mogambo vs gabbar

Gabbar is the most iconic villain Indian Cinema has ever witnessed. Till today, Gabbar is the only villain who has been heroised in a way that he forever remains immortal.

Generations of people from great-grandparents to five-year-olds today, know of Gabbar Singh and the tyrant that he was.

Gabbar was a villain unlike any other. He didn’t have any pomp and show of costume and was closer to reality, being a dacoit, unlike Mogambo. His character was inspired by a real-life dacoit of the same name. A mere “Kitne aadmi the” from him was enough to send chills down the spines of the audience.

A bearded, tobacco-chewing man with no mercy, conscience or humanity, Gabbar epitomised the level of villainy in Indian cinema through this role in Sholay.

He ruthlessly killed Thakur Baldev Singh’s family and then chopped off his arms. Neither did he show any mercy to his own men.

News of his entry into the village of Ramgarh would initiate total chaos amongst the people. He was a villain, who was never surrounded by women and was a villain in the true sense of it. He had an army of men at his beck and call which made him even more formidable.

mogambo vs gabbar

There was an instant fear which would erupt in the hearts of people as his unflinching footsteps approached the scene. This was supplemented by an iconic background score, which marked his entry.

His appearance, coupled with his army green attire, combat boots and a whip in his hand created an abysmal aura around him. His virility and uncouth nature, made people love him.

Gabbar’s vocabulary was dotted with cult one-liners which are still chanted today. He had more than one iconic dialogue. From “Tera kya hoga Kaaliya” to “suar ke bachcho” and “ bohot yaarana lagta hai”.

 Gabbar, played by the brilliant Amjad Khan, outshone all the other superstars in the movie like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, and Sanjeev Kumar.

He became a symbol of popular culture. His character has inspired many movies right from remakes of Sholay to Bhojpuri and Pakistani versions. He was used to advertise Britannia’s Glucose biscuits and restaurants have been named after him.

Our parents’ generation listened to his dialogues on tape, time and again and could repeat them by heart. Filmfare named Gabbar the most iconic villain in the history of Indian cinema. BBC compared him to Star Wars villain, Darth Vader.

Gabbar’s legacy remains unchallenged even today. There was never a villain like him and there never will be. Mogambo wasn’t even a patch on Gabbar.

Mothers will still tell their kids, “soja bete, soja nahi toh Gabbar Singh aa jayega.

Sources: NDTV, Wikipedia, Times Of India +more

Image Source: Google Images

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  1. Another villain (character with shades of grey) I would like to mention is from the film Khamosh released in 80’s. Legendary actor Amol Palekar played the role. The performance was extremely spine chilling. A real menacing villain. That’s the brilliance of Amol Palekar. The last scene is memorable.


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