In India, the color of saffron represents sacrifice. When someone says, "Main rang de basanti", ("paint me saffron") it means that person is ready to be sacrificed for a great cause. Saffron is also a predominant color in the movie.
India's official entry to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2007.
Aamir Khan was initially uncertain about taking on the role of DJ, as he was in his 40s and DJ was a 25 year old Punjabi in the film. He eventually accepted, though, and hired a tutor to aid him in Punjabi speech and accents.
7:30 a.m. was the time when "Bhagat Singh" was hanged to death and it has been captured in the movie. The broken watch of Sue's grandfather shows the same time too.
The role played by Siddharth was also initially offered to Farhan Akhtar. But Farhan was not ready to act.
The film was to be made both in Hindi and English versions. The English version was to be titled "Paint It Yellow". The plans for the English version were dropped subsequently.
Arjun Rampal was signed to do the film, but was irritated with director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's indecisiveness about what he wanted to do with the characters and the script. He called him "very confused" and "unprofessional" and dropped out. Arjun Rampal also stated his regret in even agreeing to do the film in that he lost a lot of good work in the three months he spent committed to it.
After rejecting the role of DJ, Shah Rukh Khan was also offered the role of Flight Lieutenant Ajay Rathod, but he couldn't do it owing to his busy schedule. Later Madhavan took the part, and this cameo turned out to be the best bet of Madhavan in his career in Bollywood.
Soha Ali Khan's (Sonia in the film) mother in real life, Sharmila Tagore, was also widowed by an Air Force pilot in her landmark film Aradhana.
In May 2014, Rang De Basanti was released on Blu-ray (plus steelbook edition) which is about 8 years after it's theatrical release.
Shah Rukh Khan was the original pick to play DJ, but the shooting for the film was in Delhi, and Khan was forced to decline because he was shooting Paheli (2005) at the time, and did not want to conflict schedules.
Nelly Furtado was to act and sing in the movie. Once the producers changed, the idea of signing Nelly Furtado was dropped.
Randeep Hooda was offered Sharman Joshi's role. Randeep had to turn it down due to Ram Gopal Varma insisting Randeep not work in outside films, since Randeep was in a multi-film contract with Varma.
Aamir, Sharman and Madhavan again shared screen as friends in 3 idiots, another praised and successful film which was released in 2009, four years after the release of this film.
When Rakesh Mehra started the film in 2002, it was to be a Indo/ British production to be made in English and Hindi. Manoj Bajpayee was signed for Aamir Khan's role and Vivek Oberoi for Siddharth's role. Atul Kulkarni was signed too, but for which role was not specified.