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Manthan

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Manthan English: Churning is a 1976 Hindi film directed by Shyam Benegal, inspired by the pioneering milk cooperative movement of Verghese Kurien written jointly by him and Vijay Tendulkar It is set amidst the backdrop of the White Revolution of India Aside from the great measurable success that this project was, it also demonstrated the power of "collective might" as it was entirely crowdfunded by 500,000 farmers who donated Rs 2 each

The film won the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Vijay Tendulkar, and was also India's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 1976

The title song whose lyrics go Mero gaam kathaparey was sung by Preeti Sagar She won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for that year The song was later used as the soundtrack for the television commercial for Amul

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Plot
  • 3 Cast
  • 4 Soundtrack
  • 5 Awards and nominations
  • 6 Legacy
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Overview

Main article: Amul

The word manthan literally means "churning", and other meanings may be deep contemplation, churning of facts, analysis aimed at solution or conclusion The film traces a small set of poor farmers of Kheda district in Gujarat who had the vision and foresight to act in a way that was good for the society and not for the self alone Under, leaders like local social worker Tribhovandas Patel, who took up the cause of farmer, lead to the formation of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers' Union Soon the pattern was repeated in each district of Gujarat, which in turn led to the formation of Amul, a dairy cooperative in Anand, Gujarat in 1946, which is today, jointly owned by some 26 million milk producers in Gujarat, India

Eventually this led to the initiation of White Revolution of India in 1970, by creating a 'Nationwide Milk Grid', and setting up of 'Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd GCMMF in 1973, whose 500,000 members, jointly financed the film, by donating Rs 2 each Upon its release, truckloads of farmers came to see 'their' film, thus making it a box office success

Plot

The film traces the origins of the movement through its fictionalised narrative, based around rural empowerment, when a young veterinary surgeon, played by Girish Karnad, a character based on then, National Dairy Development Board NDDB chief, the 33-year-old Verghese Kurien, who joined hands with local social worker, Tribhovandas Patel, which led to the setting up a local milk cooperative, in Anand, Gujarat

Dr Rao Girish Karnad, a young veterinary doctor with his team of Deshmukh Mohan Agashe, Chandravarkar Anant Nag and others comes to a village in Kheda district, Gujarat The village is inhabited by poor people whose chief occupation seems to be cattle-rearing and producing milk, which they sell to a local dairy owner Mishra Ji Amrish Puri Mishra Ji pays them ridiculously low amounts for their milk Dr Rao and his team have arrived with the purpose of setting up a co-operative society dairy which will be owned collectively and managed by the villagers themselves As DrRao and his team grapple with village politics, rigid casteism and general distrust of the village folk, they face planned hostility from the local Harijan community's leader Bhola Naseeruddin Shah who harbours deep anger and resentment against the higher caste Panchayat Head Kulbhushan Kharbanda Local village women are led by a feisty young woman Bindu Smita Patil, mother of a young child whose husband has supposedly left her

Dr Rao wins the trust of Bindu and other villagers by testing their milk and paying them fair amounts for their high fat-content milk and this irks Mishra Ji Deshmukh is worried by the caste politics and divide between the higher castes and Harijans in the village and repeatedly warns Rao against getting involved in it Chandravarkar gets attracted to a local Harijan girl and has a few rendezvous with her in secret The Harijans don't want to join the co-operative as they feel that the higher caste Panch and his cronies will usurp the society as well Rao and his associates talk sense into them and organise for an election for the post of the head of the co-operative Bhola begins to trust and believe in Rao's ideals when Rao fires Chandravarkar for having fun with the Harijan girl on pretext of marrying her and bails Bhola out of jail when Panch gets him arrested for rowdy behaviour

Meanwhile, a mutual admiration and liking develops between Rao and Bindu which is cut short when Bindu's husband returns home suddenly and Rao's wife comes to visit him in the village In the election, the Harijan representative Moti defeats the Panch in a tiebreaker and the Harijans erupt in joy The Panch takes the loss terribly on his ego and joins Mishra Ji, also aided by Bindu's husband Together, they force Bindu to put her thumb impression on legal papers that claim Dr Rao has raped her Dr Rao is extremely agitated when the allegations are brought against him and starts to wonder whether or not he has bitten off more than he can chew His wife also falls sick to Typhoid Dr Rao finishes the setting up of the board and leaves with his wife This greatly troubles Bhola as he considers this cowardice on Dr Rao's part Bhola, however, continues to carry on the work of the co-operative with support from a few villagers and notably, Bindu Both of them have been inspired and churned as new, brave individuals by the work of Dr Rao

Cast

  • Girish Karnad as Dr Rao
  • Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Sarpanch
  • Smita Patil as Bindu
  • Naseeruddin Shah as Bhola
  • Mohan Agashe as Deshmukh
  • Anant Nag as Chandavarkar
  • Amrish Puri as Mishraji
  • Rajendra Jaspal as Bindu's Husband
  • Abha Dhulia as Shanta, Dr Rao's Wife

Soundtrack

All music composed by Vanraj Bhatia

No Title Playback Length
1 "Mero Gaam Katha Parey" Preeti Sagar  

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1976 Amul National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi Won
Vijay Tendulkar National Film Award for Best Screenplay Won
1977 Shyam Benegal Indian film for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Not nominated
1978 Preeti Sagar for song Mero Gaam Katha Parey Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer Won

Legacy

Further reading

  • Shyam Benegal's the Churning Manthan: Screenplay, by, Vijay Tendulkar, Shyam Benegal, Samik Banerjee Seagull Books, 1984 ISBN 0-86132-070-0

References

  1. ^ "How a farmers' servant painted the nation white" PDF UNDP quoting Hindustan Times 9 September 2012 Retrieved 27 November 2014 
  2. ^ a b c What makes Shyam special The Hindu, 17 January 2003
  3. ^ a b Shyam Benegal at uclanet South Asia Studies, University of California, Los AngelesUCLA
  4. ^ "Milkmen turned producers" The Hindu Retrieved 26 July 2016 
  5. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  6. ^ Team, Tellychakkar 15 September 2012 "When Preeti Sagar struck the right notes for Prince Charles" Tellychakkarcom Retrieved 2017-07-21 
  7. ^ Us Salam, Ziya 12 September 2012 "Manthan 1976" The Hindu Retrieved 2017-07-21 
  8. ^ The Amul Story Manthan – Mero gaam katha parey on YouTube
  9. ^ The Amul Story – General Management Review Archived 4 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ NDTV movies NDTV
  11. ^ Manthan Review Channel 4

External links

  • Watch Online
  • Manthan on IMDb
  • Manthan at AllMovie
Awards
Preceded by
Nishant
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
1977
Succeeded by
Junoon

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